Health is a condition where disease and infirmity are completely absent. It is the state of being capable of enduring normal active functions in the face of severe challenges. A number of definitions have also been used for various purposes over the years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as the maintenance of the good health of a person through life. For the WHO there is no meaning for health in the sense of morbidity. This means that prevention is better than cure. Prevention therefore is equivalent to wellness.
What exactly is meant by good health? It means a healthy body, mind and spirit with higher education as the doorway to higher education. It also means physical and mental aspects of life, such as social aspects and family values. Good health conditions are influenced by environmental factors, age, genetics and life experiences. The factors that influence health conditions are: the diet, hygiene, education, work experience and community.
Health and wellness are intimately interrelated. The term ‘wellness’ can have different meanings for different individuals and communities. Some people would consider mental illness as well as the physical illness as wellness. Wellness then, is associated with lower risks for various types of disease. This is because wellness entails reducing the risks of getting sick in the first place. It is about reducing the illness risk factors and improving overall health.
A number of researches have found that physical environments contribute to poor health and wellness. Poor environmental quality has been correlated with higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other illnesses. Poor physical environments include air pollution, exposure to hazardous chemicals, radiation, pesticides and lack of physical exercise. These factors hinder the body’s natural ability to fight diseases. As a result, wellness and physical environments are directly related.
Stress is one of the direct causes for poor physical health and wellness. It has also been associated with worse symptoms in individuals suffering from diseases. Poor physical and mental health may lead to worse symptoms when the disease or disorder sets in. Mental illness and physical illness may lead to worse outcomes if they are not treated at the right time.
Poor health and wellness may lead to poorer mental health and to worse coping skills. This may adversely affect cognitive functioning which includes memory, attention, concentration and mood. Health and fitness may lead to better coping skills. This means that people suffering from chronic illnesses may be less able to control their symptoms, and may worsen their condition.
Health and wellness are important to everyone. Equity is important to people from all backgrounds, gender and ethnicity. There are still many social, cultural and experiential differences that need to be addressed. But at the same time, many people suffer from health and disability discrimination. These inequities need to be addressed. Health and disability equity must be equalized in order to promote better overall health and wellness.
People living with chronic diseases and disabilities suffer a variety of different symptoms and they often have very different ways of dealing with health and wellness. Some may benefit from a healthy promotion strategy. Other people who benefit from such strategies include doctors, nurses and other health care workers such as administrators, staff, patients, caregivers and others. Such health promotion strategies include promoting physical environment, promoting nutrition, maintaining fitness and encouraging exercise.
The goal of health promotion is to promote overall wellness. This includes promoting nutrition. Nutrient education is important for children, adolescents and adults alike. The best approach is to teach them what nutrition is about and how to choose and maintain a healthy diet. Teachers should explain the benefits of nutrition to young students so that they can develop good eating habits as they grow up.
Promoting a healthy physical environment is essential for overall health. A physically healthy body allows people to move freely and get good exercise. Schools that offer a good physical environment for their students have lower absenteeism rates and have higher test scores. People who are not active and maintain poor nutrition are more likely to become ill and be hospitalized.
Mental wellness can also be promoted through mental exercise and mental stimulation. Schools that offer mentally stimulating activities such as art classes, music lessons, drama clubs, computer games, dance lessons or social interaction with other students are likely to have higher test scores and have fewer sick days than other schools. A good mental health program encourages creativity and imagination. It also promotes productivity in the workplace. Schools that encourage a healthy lifestyle are likely to offer a high quality of education, have more productive and creative students and have lower drop-outs or high school drop-outs.