Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not simply the absence of sickness and disease. Many different definitions have been applied over the years, for different reasons. One common definition is that health is the ability to cope with, and survive in, a harsh health environment. In this way, health is viewed as the total sum of all the dimensions of life that affect an individual’s ability to live his or her life to its fullest.
The ability to enjoy life to its fullest is what health refers to. Health can be affected by the quality and quantity of physical activities, the diet and interaction with others, the social relationships and experiences, the knowledge and skills, the exposure to potential risk factors, the experiences and context in which one grows up, and the interactions with and among other people. All these components contribute to a person’s ability to live to his or her maximum potential. All of these components are interrelated in complex interaction as they interact with each other. What this means is that health refers to having the capacity to thrive in a healthy way even under different and unique environmental stresses that an individual may encounter in his or her daily life.
In order to achieve optimal overall health, you need to consider the total environment that you live in. This environment can either be your home, your place of work, the neighborhood in which you live, or any place where you engage in your day-to-day activities. The effects of your lifestyle choices on your physical environment can either be good or bad. If you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, then you are doing your part in ensuring that you enjoy good health. However, if you are sedentary and overweight, then you have failed in your efforts to enjoy good health. You need to take responsibility for the total environment in which you live.