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What Are the Determinants of Health?

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Health is a condition of overall physical, emotional and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. Many various definitions have been used for different purposes over the years. One of these is the Collins Criteria for Good Health. The standard is used to determine eligibility for a wide range of health services and policies. The following are the definitions as applied by the Collins Criteria for Good Health.

A good health status is the ability to enjoy life to its fullest and participate in community activities. It refers to the ability to overcome pain, maintain well-balanced relationships and take advantage of preventive health services. It also considers aspects such as having reasonable access to education and opportunities for physical activity and recreation, having high quality housing, having access to appropriate healthcare, having clean water and adequate food, having safe and clean air, and having privacy and stability in life. These aspects are necessary for one to maintain his or her well-balanced health status.

A person’s well-being is determined by his or her attitudes and behaviors in social interactions, work, and their daily diet. People who belong to the rich categories of the society are more likely to experience serious health problems. These include obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic medical conditions. Although some of these illnesses tend to run in families, other can be acquired by individual regardless of family history.

The level of well-being is influenced by the social, cultural, educational and economic circumstances and attitudes towards health, which can vary significantly from one society to another. Health problems faced by people can be treated at different levels depending on the severity of the illness. They can be dealt with medicine, psychological counseling, community services, alternative treatments, family therapy or integrated health care. Alternative health care refers to the use of herbal medicines, dietary modifications, and/or lifestyle changes in order to treat health problems and encourage recovery from mental illness. Family therapy is focused on the emotional, physical and mental well being of family members and involves them in the treatment of each other.

The goal of treating health issues is to improve quality of life for patients and their families. People suffering from mental illness often have difficult coping mechanisms that limit their abilities to function properly in their daily lives. In addition, they have limited interaction with others, are under a lot of stress, and have poor coping skills. To provide effective mental health treatment, effective treatment teams must be included in the health care setting. These teams should focus on identifying the root cause of the problem, develop a treatment plan, provide ongoing services, help people to cope with side effects and provide referrals to appropriate health professionals.

Improving overall health and wellness has become a priority in most governments. This has led to an increase in population control programs, public education about general health and nutrition, and an increased interest in preventive health care practices. Many diseases and conditions now carry health warning labels. To promote healthy living and to decrease health care expenses, many countries have adopted strategies that include promoting healthy eating, regular exercise, and promoting weight control.

Healthy aging is the third definition of healthy living. People want to remain young and healthy for as long as possible, but the process of aging can be slow or halt due to various diseases, accidents, and other factors. People want to prevent diseases that can prolong their life, but they do not know how to protect themselves against age-related diseases. Prevention is better than cure; hence, healthy aging focuses on improving overall health through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoidance of diseases that can prolong one’s life.

Prevention and early detection are the two major determinants of good health status. A well-balanced diet and physical activity can help you prevent and manage any disease or condition that you may get. Regular examination and consultation with your doctor can also help you maintain your good health status. Proper information about your body and your environment are the first determinants of your life style and your health status. The most important determinants for healthy living are social determinants such as educational level, wealth, community involvement, and intelligent lifestyle choices.