Health is a condition of physical, emotional and social well being where illness and disease are absent. Various definitions have been employed over the years for medical purposes. The dictionary definition of health is “a state of being healthy” and this definition is the most commonly used to describe what constitutes a healthy condition or state. However, health is more than just being well or being healthy.
Health is affected by the quality of life, occupation, family background, community connectedness and community relationships. These are factors which lead to a healthy lifestyle and an individual’s occupational health and safety. Occupational health and safety are essential for workers in hazardous occupations and they should be given top priority in any efforts to achieve population health. For any occupational health and safety plan to be effective it should be based on the needs of the population. The goals and objectives of occupational health and safety planning should also be in keeping with the resources available.
Population health issues include the effect of behaviors, genetics, environment, trauma groups and their consequences. These diseases and their consequences directly impact on the individuals and their work. It is important for health issues to be addressed in order to protect against and reduce the risks of occupational diseases.
Healthy lifestyles and good health practices are essential to maintain optimal productivity and optimum health. Healthy diets, regular exercise, stress management, weight control, relaxation techniques and proper medication all contribute to good health. Prevention and early detection of these diseases and the adverse effects they have on the body can greatly reduce the prevalence of serious health conditions. The reduction in premature mortality, improvement in survival and quality of life and improvement in employee health all depend on healthy lifestyle choices.
Mental health has a broader meaning that encompasses physical and mental health conditions. Mental health includes emotional well being, motivation, mood disorders, schizophrenia, delusional parasitosis and other psychosomatic disorders. These conditions may lead to catastrophic health consequences. Depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and other psychological conditions are the major reasons behind disability and in the work place, affectivity. Psychotherapy, counselling and support for psychological health conditions have become an integral part of the public health service. The major objectives of mental health and counselling are to prevent disability and promote efficient utilization of health care resources.
Health promotion and maintenance programs address the overall physical, emotional and social well being of an individual. They include activities such as education, prevention, early detection and treatment of disease, personal health maintenance, family practice, home care and work specialization. A well rounded health program ensures a balanced approach to health issues. It also contributes to an overall sense of well being and personal responsibility.