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. A number of definitions have been applied to health throughout the years. According to Merriam-Websters, “health” means the condition of being fit, wholesome, and of normal psychological and physiological development and growth. It also includes quality of life, the ability to carry out ordinary functions normally done by a human being in his work and in his social relationships, and ability to cope with life’s challenges.
From a philosophical perspective, health and wellness are grounded in the understanding that all humans have a mind, body, and spirit that are interconnected and mutually dependent. According to Halliday and Smith, who wrote the first books on the subject, a person is said to be healthy when “he is able to perform the most useful work and accomplish the most useful functions with a minimum amount of pain, exertion, impairment, disfigurement, or risk of injury.” The second definition, which emphasizes the mind-body connection, states that “a well-balanced and healthy mind and body are necessary for successful living.”
In current times, there are many definitions and ways to measure health. The concept of health care is the way by which people gain access to health services. The National Health Service (NHS) and private health insurance companies provide public health services such as routine medical check-ups, immunizations, and treatment for contagious diseases. NHS provides primary health care for the entire United Kingdom, while private health insurance plans in the United States focus mainly on illness and preventive care. In addition, public health programs and insurance companies offer coverage for costs associated with health care; however, the insurance industry is largely regulated at the state level and prices can vary greatly from state to state.
An occupational safety program is designed to promote worker health, but the main article here is safety. It is also called occupational exposure management, and it addresses the adverse effects of health-related hazards on workers. Commonly, the adverse effects of exposure to harmful chemicals or poisons are not fully comprehended until large scale illnesses are reported. By identifying dangers early, workers can significantly reduce their risks of developing illnesses such as mesothelioma, exposure to toxic substances, and certain cancers.
Another main article is well-being. This focuses on maintaining and promoting quality of life after physical illness or injury. Some research indicates that physical illness and injury result in distress and negative emotions that lead to poor self-care and decreased well-being. On the other hand, the inability to work and the resulting unemployment may lead to negative emotions and lack of motivation that lead to negative well-being. The author highlights that there are three major components of well-being: physical, emotional, and mental.
The last main article deals with the effect of sleep deprivation on overall health. Sleep deprivation increases stress levels and decreases energy levels. It can also decrease reaction time and increase fatigue. Sleep deprivation is a silent killer–the symptoms are often not apparent until it is too late. The author recommends several strategies for improving sleep habits, including relaxation techniques, light exercise, and cognitive behavior therapy.