The Definition of Good Health and the Need to Empower Individuals

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of “good health” that “refers to the total quality of life attained under circumstances that promote health.” Various definitions have been used over the years for various purposes. Generally, however, health is considered a state of well-being with the attendant power of full participation in community, which may not include hospitalization. Community health can involve everything from neighborhood health fairs to community gardens and from visiting children’s hospitals to buying health insurance.

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What Are the Qualities of Good Health? According to WHO, a complete physical and mental well-being is determined through appropriate exercise, appropriate diet, social support, and the enjoyment of activities that are personally relevant and satisfying. Mental well-being is defined as an optimistic outlook on life and an absence of depression and other emotional disorders. Complete physical well-being is achieved through a balanced diet and active lifestyle. Social support is essential for promoting good health because it allows you to be around others who share your interests, experiences, and goals.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines mental health as “the ability to make informed choices concerning ones mental health, resources such as time, money, energy, and feelings, and the capacity to perform activities of daily living that are vitally important to one’s well-being.” According to WHO, “poor mental health can have disastrous effects on the physical, emotional, social, and developmental quality of life of an individual.” To foster good health, people need to know what they are capable of, what limits they have, and how to reach their goals. Family, friends, and health care providers can provide support. People who are healthy and well-informed about their health are less likely to self-injure themselves or become victims of violence.