The Definition of Health

The definition of health can be quite a challenging concept. It can differ from place to place and from individual to individual. For example, a person living on the sea level may suffer from heart disease when shovelling sand, while someone living in the mountains might experience shortness of breath or anemia. The World Health Organization (WHO) constitution, which came into effect on April 7, 1948, states that health is a fundamental right, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, socioeconomic condition, or nationality.


While a person’s physical state can be a primary indicator of health, there are also a number of other factors that can contribute to one’s state of well-being. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that social determinants of health are significant contributors to overall wellbeing. In the UK, for example, the prevalence of diabetes in a certain region is higher than that of the general population, indicating that the UK’s health is more complex than previously thought.

The World Health Organisation has defined health as the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, without disease. The WHO states that “health is the ability to meet our basic needs and to adapt to changing circumstances.” For people who are not born healthy, health can also refer to mental and emotional well-being, and can extend to financial well-being. In a society, a good lifestyle is important. When you are healthy, you will enjoy a fulfilling life, be happier, and feel more confident.