Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Different Definitions of Good Health

Category Health
Essay type Research
Words 1085 (4 pages)
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In this section I would be focusing on the ways people interpret health and welfare. Health is defined differently by individual, communities and countries, these ways may be defined either positive or negative.

The World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had defined health in being “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition is a negative approach to health because the definition is vague and can categorised everyone as being unhealthy. In my opinion I find the WHO definition in being unrealistic and unachievable because the definition states, “absence of disease or infirmity.” As human being we all have one point in our health had gotten the flu.

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The WHO excluding ‘disease’ and ‘infirmity’ would classify us all as being unhealthy. Another reason why I disagree with this definition is that someone with a disease or illness can maintain a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being. For example, a patient with diabetes would still be in a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being. Not everyone with a disease or illness would lose their complete state of physical, mental and social well-being. (accessed on 09/10/2015) (accessed on 09/10/2015)

David Seedhouse 2009

David Seedhouse described health and welfare being an "equivalent to the set of conditions that enable a person to work to fulfil his/her realistic chosen and biological potential". The definition is positive approach to health because Seedhouse states “work to fulfil his/her realistic chosen and biological potential.” This would give us the idea that health is a normal process and illnesses can occur without our will. There are a majority of individuals unfortunately that inherit diseases that may have incredible result on how they carry on with their ordinary life. For example a person with a hearing or visual impairment may fulfil his/her potential in exam within the physical constraints would not be considered unhealthy because the person may not hear or see very well.

Although Seedhouse definition is vague, I agree with the concept of it; healthier people are more able to do what they desire because they have fewer constraints. The constraints can be psychological, biological or social. A biological constraint can be our organs, cells or tissues. Whilst a psychological constraint can be emotions, cognitions and motivation. A social constraint is our family, friends, community and society. (accessed on 09/10/2015) (accessed on 09/10/2015) (accessed on 09/10/2015)

Channel 4

Channel 4 defines health in three ways; negative, positive and holistic. According to Channel 4 the negative definition of health is “free from illness, upset, tiredness, or anything else that might be a symptom of not being in good health.” This isn’t an accurate definition for health in my opinion because if you are upset doesn’t mean you are not in “good health.” Majority of people are upset for a short period of time, so stating that being upset, which is an emotion, as bad health is not truthful. Benedict Carey had stated that tears are good for reducing our stress levels, removes toxins, kills bacteria, releases our feelings and surprisingly helps us see. This further proves that being upset is good for our health. Positive health is defined by Channel 4 as someone informing another person “who has recently taken up a sport and say: 'you look very healthy’. This definition demonstrates the effectiveness of taking up a sport because of the words “very healthy” helps draw that picture.

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I would agree with this definition for health because exercising benefits us and improves our health. This is because in situation where someone would need to run or defend themselves, it would be essential to exercise. Taking up a sport would also benefit a person emotionally and socially because team work can increase social circle, have more friends, and emotionally can lower stress level. Channel 4 defines holistic as being “physically very fit and free from illness, they could still have emotional problems.” This meaning that in order to be healthy you would need to be ‘physically fit’ and have no illnesses, such as the flu or diabetes. I agree with that you would need to be physically fit because exercising or taking up a sport would help strengthen the body and lower the risk of diseases, such as coronary heart disease and cancer. (accessed on 09/10/2015) (accessed on 09/10/2015) (accessed on 09/10/2015)

Medical News Today

Medical News Today (MNT) had defined health in two aspect; mental health and physical health. According to MNT mental health “refers to the absence of mental illness.” Although the definition is vague, it still is a positive definition of health because it defines mental health in being without a disorder. If someone can cope with the usual stresses of life, they can work efficiently and productively and is able to support their community means they have good mental health. An example would be a student coping with exams.

MNT also defines physical health in a positive way because the definition states that physical health is the “regular physical activity (exercise), good nutrition, and adequate rest.” I agree with the definition because nutrition, rest and exercise is essential for good health. If someone doesn’t eat a balance diet, they are more likely to be malnourished. Regular exercise is important since it benefits people socially, mentally and physical. In this case our body would be healthier and stronger. An adequate rest is essential for work effort because the correct hours of sleep would result on better work effort. (accessed on 09/10/2015)

Culture Health

The word culture is associated with the norms and values that are shared in a particular group or society. These norms and values can shape our views on what is acceptable and what is not. For example; Somalia culture forbids people from drinking alcohol, whilst it is seen perfectly alright in Czech Republic to drink an excessive amount of alcohol. This is negative definition of health because of the affect alcohol has on a person’s physical, emotional and social development.

There has been research to show that the ethnic minority groups in Britain experience disadvantages and discrimination when receiving treatment in a healthcare setting, such as hospitals. They would experience poorer health, which would reduce their health expectancy and have more of a risk in long-term health problems, such as sickle cell. The government had set up health campaigns, like Change 4 Life, which aims to tackle obesity in households with children. However, the information presented in health campaigns has a lack of knowledge and understandings for other cultures.

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