Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well-Being where infirmity and illness are absent. Various definitions have been employed for such purposes over the years. In its simplest form, health is the absence of illness, disability or infirmity which does not interfere with one’s ability to cope or live comfortably in society. The concept of health has many nuances, depending upon the social and cultural context, beliefs and practices, and priorities of individuals. It also varies between times and places.
With advances in technology and science, the definition of health has become much more complex, especially as it applies to individuals. Technological determinants of health status include factors such as body composition, height, gender, genetic and family history. However, environmental determinants remain prominent, and they include levels of stress, cleanliness and hygiene, diet, exercise, occupational class, social support networks, workplace arrangement, work timings, and personal attitudes and customs. Psychological determinants include self-esteem, motivation, achievement orientation, and personality. These interact with each other and with personal determinants and environmental factors and produce an individual’s health status.
Since early days, health issues have been related to spiritual beliefs and practices, with examples being the belief in angels and god, internal guidance, and karma or reincarnation. Today, health issues are perceived to be intertwined with contemporary lifestyles and practices such as smoking, alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, and physical activity. A variety of health services are offered to address these health issues. The field of mental health care has become very important as it contributes to wellness, which in turn leads to improved quality of life, economic security, and better health and relationships.