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Definition of Health

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  • September 2006
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Definition of Health
One can define health negatively, as the absence of illness, or positively, as fitness and well-being. Health also implies good prospects for continued survival. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"(Health, 2006). This writer defines health not only as the absence of illlness but also as being healthy as it relates to health promotion. Health promotion is the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. Optimal health is defined as a "balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health" (O'Donnell, n.d.). Optimal health is a complex, multifaceted goal to achieve and maintain. This writer will adhere to physical health for this paper. Lifestyle behaviors are the key ingredients to health. This writer attempts to choose behaviors that will promote good health. One behavior that is of particular importance is that of prevention through regular health screening. Getting regular check ups, preventive screening tests, and immunizations are among the most important things one can do for oneself.

There are general guidelines that can be followed to help decide which screening tests are indicated. Risk factors play a part in determining which screening tests are needed. Risk factors are things in ones life that increase ones chances of developing a condition or disease. "They can include things like family history, exposures to things in the environment, being certain age or sex, being from a certain ethnic group, or already having a health condition" (Women's Health, n.d.).

For this writer a yearly mammogram and Pap smear test are indicated. A mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast, and is used to detect and evaluate breast abnormalities. The Pap test also called a Pap smear, checks for changes in the...

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