Good HEALTH and Healthy Life
The history of man’s fight for health begins with what little is known about his earliest evidence when he was completely at the mercy of nature with no effective means of combating its hazards. After that a slow process of learning came that occupied man for centuries as he advances in civilization. Research in medical sciences has resulted in a dramatic acceleration in human knowledge.
To be healthy is to be in a state of homeostasis (balance) with one’s surroundings. Thus, this write up emphasizes on expliciting the concept of Health, its indices and evaluation. It also gives a brief display of various methods for attaining good health. Thus, motivates the reader to step forward in the direction of attaining good health through healthy lifestyle and improvising other factors which encourages good health.
Thus in order to achieve good health one need to maintain healthy habits such as taking regular exercises and adequate rest, adopting a high level of personal hygiene, eating a nutritionally balanced diet, abstaining from the abuse of drugs and alcohol, taking care of one’s mental well-being and developing social skills to interact in a positive manner within society.
Keeping in mind all these facts of health and wellness the present article depict following features: 1. How should we define health 2. Determinants of Physical health. 3. Factors influencing health. 4. The Indices and evaluation of Health. 5. Various Health Related Diseases 6. Methods for attaining good health.
How can we define health
Before we carry on further discussion regarding health , we need to define Health and why good Health is essentential for each individual.
When asked to layman of what he understood of health the most comman answer was “Being free from disease or pain”. This answer has proved to be insufficient to address issues of public health concern and world health organization (WHO) in its constitution. Thus, WHO establishes more encompassing definition of health, formulated in 1948 which describes health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”. It overcame the negative definition of health as absence of disease and included the various health related domains like physical, mental, and social well being. Thus health can also be reproduce as “a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities”.
Around 1840 the term public health came into general use which aouse the need to protect the public from the spread of communicable disease.
Thus Winslow defines public health as “The art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical and mental efficiency, through organized community efforts, for the sanitation of environment, the control of communicable infection, the education of individual in personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing survices for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease and the development of the social macinary to ensure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health. So organizing these benefits so as to enable every citizen to realize his birthright of health and longevity”.
Physical health is critical for overall well-being and is the most visible of the various dimensions of health, which also include social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and environmental health.
Determinants of Physical Health
The range of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health status are known as determinants of health.
Determinants of health fall under several broad categories:
Policymaking - Policies at the local, state, and federal level affect individual and population health. Increasing taxes on tobacco sales, for example, can improve population health by reducing the number of people using tobacco product.
Social factors - Social determinants of health reflect the social factors and physical conditions of the environment in which people are born, live, learn, play, work, and age.
Health services - Both access to health services and the quality of health services can impact health. Healthy People 2020 directly addresses access to health services as a topic area and incorporates quality of health services throughout a number of topic areas.
Individual behavior - Individual behavior also plays a role in health outcomes. For example, if an individual quits smoking, his or her risk of developing heart disease is greatly reduced.
Biology and genetics - Some biological and genetic factors affect specific populations more than others. For example, older adults are biologically prone to being in poorer health than adolescents due to the physical and cognitive effects of aging. Sickle cell disease is a common example of a genetic determinant of health. Sickle cell is a common example.
Emotional health or Mental Health - Is defined as the degree to which you feel emotionally secure and relaxed in everyday life. An emotionally healthy person has a relaxed body, an open mind and an open heart. The more emotional health you have, the more self-esteem you have. This means you do not frequently react with knee jerk responses, anxiety or panic to the events that occur in your life.
Factors Influencing health
The health of an individual and community is governed by many factors collaborated with each other and acts simultaneously at that particular point of time. Now, to understand what is good health and various cause of diseases, we must first understand the factors that determinanes our health.Therfore factors influencing health are summarize as:
Age – Health degrades with age. When people are asked to rank their health status on a 5-point scale (where 1 is excellent and 5 is poor), the average response for men rises from 1.75 at age 20 to 2.5 at age 60. For women, there is a similar but somewhat smaller increase, from 2 to 2.5. That is, elderly persons and the very young are more prone to be more severely affected when sick as a result of their reduced immunity, e.g. yearly influenza vaccines are advised for the elderly yearly.
Ethnic origin – People of certain ethnic groups considered at more risk of developing some illnesses, either as a result of their genetic make up, the environment they live in or the rituals they practice, e.g. Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is more common in Southern Chinese.
Genetic makeup/ Inherited – There are some genetic disorder such as person having a family history of breast cancer, certain genes could be inherited, which may result in transfering of disease in offsprings.
Gender – There are certain sex related diseases which are restricted to specific sex only. e.g. haemophilia resulting in easy bleeding, occur in males only. The females of the family may or may not be carriers of the disease.
Socioeconomic Factor – Person belonging to higher socioeconomic statues are at a higher risk of various diseases like obesity, metabolic disorder like diabeties, hypertension due to high salt intake. Whereas person with lower socioeconomic status suffers from various malnutrition disorder like marasmas, rickets due to defiency of vitamin D in children, tetany and many more.
Occupation – Occupation can be one of the major causative agent leading to particular disease, e.g. lung cancer in asbestos workers.
Education – The practice of instructing people and communities in the principles of hygiene are one of the way of establishing or inducing changes in personal or group attitudes and behaviour promotes healthier living. Opting for a a healthy lifestyle helps prevent diseases.
Nutrition – Both over and under-nutrition (malnutrition) are unhealthy for the body.
Habits – Habits such as smoking and excessive drinking may lead to lung and liver cancer.
Habitat – Various factors in our home such as home smoking, maternal smoking, use of synthetic pillow and bedding and the use of gas as cooking fuel increases the risk of diseases
Environment – Every year over 5 million people die of illnesses due to unsafe drinking water, improper excreta disposal and unclean domestic environments.
Besides these, there are many more factors for instance regular exercises, maintain proper sanitary environment and personal hygiene which influences greatly our health.
Indices and Evaluation of Health
The determination of health is based on negative indices such as a community’s mortality, morbidity and disability. Evaluating these figures helps in detecting the health of a community.
Mortality Rate – Measures the proportion of deaths in a population to a specific number of the population.( e.g. per 1000 or 100,000)
Morbidity – This measures the incidence (rate of occurrence) of a disease/diseases in a population. e.g. the prevalence of high blood pressure in a population of different age groups
Incidence Rate – The number of new reported cases of the disease that occur per year per thousand (or million) population, e.g. in 1999, 11,329 new cases of cancer in men were reported. The incidence rate was 347 per 100,000 males.
Prevalence – The total number of cases of a disease existing in the population at a given time (per unit population), e.g. the prevalence of diabetes was 9.5% in HK in the year 1995/1996.
Various Health Related Diseases
There are various health related disease due to stress, metabolic disorder, ageing, cells or body system dysfunction disorders, diseases due to allergic reactions etc.
1. Heart disease. Person suffering from personality of stress bearing has a higher risk of high blood pressure or hypertension, heart attack and other heart problems. The reason behind is that the stress directly increases heart rate and blood flow, and consequently releases ofcholesterol and triglycerides into the blood. People suffering from such heart problems should take measures to manage stress -- and learn how to deal with unavoidable stresses -- as much as possible.
2. Asthma. It has been observed that stress worsen asthma. Patient with chronic stress might even increase the risk of developing asthma in their children. The kids with stressed out parents had a substantially higher risk of developing asthma.
3. Obesity. Obesity are defined as a “excess fat in the belly”. Therefore posing greater health issues like hypertension etc than fat on the legs or hips.
4. Diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused due to increase in glucose or sugar in blood stream. It is a result of unhealthy eating or unhealthy lifestyle, excessive drinking, stress thus raising the glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes directly.
5. Migraines - Stress is considered one of the most common triggers for migraine characterized by headache.
6. Depression and anxiety. Chronic stress is greatly connected with higher rates of depression and anxiety. recent studies found that people who had stress related to their jobs or due to other reasons had 80% higher risk of developing depression within a few years.
7. Gastrointestinal problems. Stress is also a common factor in many other GI conditions, such as chronic heartburn (or gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
8. Neurological Disorder - Various neurological disorder like alzheimer's disease, a causing a brain lesions tform more quickly. Stress is one of the speculated factor towards the progression of the disease.
9. Accelerated aging. Accelerated aging is a store house of various diseases as immunity decreases with age. Various causes enhances these diseases like stress, unhealthy diet, unhygienic lifestyle etc and accelerate the ageing process then normal.
10. Early death. Thus no doubt these dabilitating and communicable diseases like stress, unhealthy lifestyle, inadequate personal hygiene descreases human ageing by detoriating body cells and system thus leading to early or premature death.
Methods for achieving good health
Before moving on to methods for achieving good health, we need to know that why it is important to be healthy mentally as well as physically. Being healthy implies that body and mind function exactly in a same manner as they are supposed to be. It is essential that we should be physically and emotionally healthy. One can't perform well in any mental as well as physical activity, if we are not feeling healthy. Being healthy makes one feel good and allows one to perform efficiently and effectively.
Various contributory factors for meeting out all criteria’s of good health:
1. Safe and adequate water supplies
3. Drainage and solid waste disposal all benefit health by removing disease vectors from human contact.
4. The success of Immunisation Programmes
5. Availability of antibiotics
6. Rising standards of living (especially dietary)
7. Improvements in hygiene
8. Control of physical environment
9. Avoiding toxic situations.
10. Physical fitness - Agility, Balance, Body Composition, Cardiovascular endurance, Coordination, Flexibility, Muscular strength and endurance, Speed
11. Weight loss
12. A healthy diet
13. Stress management training
14. Stopping smoking and other substance abuse
And many more.
Thus at the end of this discussion we have observed that health is one of the major issue over the world wide. Our health is associated with both physical and emotional well-being as portrayed in WHO definition rather than merely free from disease state. Physical health means that body is functioning without pain, discomfort, or lack of capabilities. Emotional or mental health means mind and emotions are functioning properly, without anxiety, depression or other malfunctions. Hence, Importance of good health can be laid down by the fact that one can effectively perform all physical as well as mental activities effectively and efficiently. Thus good health of the individual and communities also indirectly contributes to the welfare and goodness of the society.