Health is a condition of emotional, physical and social well being in which infirmity and illness are absent. Various definitions have been used for various purposes over the years. The dictionary definition of health is: an overall level of fitness good for the body and mind. It also includes emotional well being, the ability to perform activities of daily living, and the ability to maintain relationships.
The field of personal health has evolved over time with technological advances. Technological aspects include the following: computers, televisions, automobiles, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, and the like. These technological developments have led to some changes in the way that we live and take care of ourselves. One of these changes is the increased sophistication of our body parts and how they function. The result is that physical health is now a major component of our mental well being.
There are three important perspectives on health: psychological, physical, and environmental factors. Psychological well-being is influenced by our experiences during childhood and early adolescence. Psychological distress is one of the most common health conditions experienced by teenagers. Psychological problems may result from the feeling of being different from others, being alienated from peers, and experiencing violence at home or in the community. Psychological illness is caused by an underlying mental disorder that causes the symptoms manifested through mental disorders.
The second perspective is physical health. Being physically healthy gives us the ability to perform our daily tasks and to survive. Although having a good body structure helps us to survive, some health gaps persist due to social and environmental factors such as poverty, gender, ethnicity, and health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
The third perspective is environmental health. This includes issues such as clean water, clean air, and adequate physical space to move around comfortably. This perspective also has a broader definition that includes issues such as outdoor pollution and exposure to toxins, potential food allergens, and physical hazards in the work place. These issues contribute to poor physical well-being and contribute to the increased risk for mental illness.
Each of these three perspectives is important to identify and address separately. Poor mental health, environmental illnesses, and lifestyle choices all have unique ways of contributing to the accumulation of illness. These three perspectives can be combined in efforts aimed at better understanding our health. The goal is to create environments in which people feel comfortable to live, work, and be active, while at the same time prevent illness and promote wellness. If we want to address the issues of the neglected categories of health, we will have to make significant changes in our lifestyle and engage in practices that promote mental as well as physical well-being.