Health is the general condition of a person’s mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Generally, the context in which an individual lives is of great importance on health status and quality of life. It is increasingly recognized that health is maintained and improved not only through the advancement and application of health science, but also through the efforts and intelligent lifestyle choices of the individual and society. According to the World Health Organization, the main determinants of health include the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviors. In fact, an increasing number of studies and reports from different organizations and contexts examine the linkages between health and different factors, including lifestyles, environments, health care organization, and health policy.
Focusing more on lifestyle issues and their relationships with functional health, data from different studies suggested that people can improve their health via:
- enough sleep,
- maintaining a healthy body weight,
- limiting alcohol use,
- and avoiding smoking.
In addition to that, the ability to adapt and to self manage have been suggested as core components of human health.
Personal health also depends partially on the social structure of a person’s life. The maintenance of strong social relationships, volunteering, and other social activities have been linked to positive mental health and even increased longevity. In contrast, prolonged psychological stress may negatively impact health, and has been cited as a factor in cognitive impairment with aging, depressive illness, and expression of disease.