Health and Well-Being
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, encompassing the ability to meet the demands of everyday life and to participate fully in society. This definition is consistent with the biopsychosocial model of health, which focuses on the interactions between the factors that determine health. It also acknowledges the subjective aspect of health. However, it does not account for the many people with disabilities, the prevalence of chronic disease, or the growing rate of preventable diseases.
The concept of wellbeing differs greatly from one culture to another. For example, it is not uncommon for an individual in the U.S. to be less satisfied with their life than a person in Canada or Switzerland. In general, people with basic needs tend to be happier than those who have more material possessions. On the other hand, there are instances when cultural traditions and customs affect wellbeing.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate rest contribute to good physical health. These factors help maintain the body’s strength, flexibility, and breathing function. Moreover, it is important for individuals to stay mentally and emotionally balanced, as well. People who are mentally fit are more resilient.
Overall, a high quality of life includes safety, healthcare, education, wealth, freedom, employment, and participation in the community. While most individuals are healthy, some lead low-quality lives. Individuals who are less satisfied with their lives are more likely to be depressed, anxious, or stressed.
Many people are born with unusual genetic patterns that increase their risk for some diseases. The environment can also play a role in health. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, are often associated with stress. There are a number of cost-effective public health strategies that can promote health and well-being.
Mental health is a fundamental component of wellbeing. When a person is mentally fit, they are more resilient and can handle challenges better. Similarly, a healthy lifestyle can help people to recover from a mental illness. Likewise, having a growth mindset can help to build other well-being skills.
Traditionally, medical practice has emphasized clinical intervention. While this method may have some advantages, it can limit the scope of health and well-being to the presence of disease. Furthermore, the “complete health” view of health is unrealistic. Several types of chronic conditions are largely preventable, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Ultimately, however, people have different goals for their health. Some people want to avoid disease altogether, while others desire a state of peak wellbeing. Regardless of the health goals, a healthy lifestyle provides the foundation for a fulfilling, purposeful, and productive life.
Despite the various definitions of health and wellbeing, achieving a high level of wellness is a commitment that requires long-term commitment. Hence, it is important for individuals to understand what activities will enhance their wellbeing and how to pursue them.
Increasing awareness of the link between health and wellbeing is essential for organizations seeking to improve productivity, efficiency, and employee engagement. Having a healthy workforce can help to alleviate the costs associated with illness and injury.