The Definition of Health

What is health? According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete well-being, free of illness or infirmity. Different definitions of health have been used throughout history. In today’s world, the World Bank defines health as the absence of disease or infirmity. This definition is based on the varying requirements of different cultures and societies. Below is a more detailed look at the definition of health. Read on to learn more about the many definitions of health.


The WHO constitution, adopted in 1948, defines health as complete physical, mental, and social well-being. While many health professionals and scientists still believe in the negative notion of health as a condition characterized by disease, this notion is becoming outdated. Achieving the highest level of health is a basic human right. The right to health depends on the cooperation of all individuals. Despite the value of attaining this state, inequality in its promotion is a significant danger to society.

A ‘complete health’ vision of health fails to recognize the complexity of human wellbeing. No one can be in perfect wellness all of the time. In fact, it is counterproductive, because it fails to account for the reality of chronic illnesses, disabilities, and other adversity. In addition, this ‘complete health’ concept is not inclusive of all human life. Rather, it ignores the fact that people are not perfect at all times.