The word health means such different things to different people that it is difficult to define. It is used to explain not only a feeling of wellness, but a lack of illness. For example, the feeling of well-being for a teenage may be different to the feeling of a 50-year-old diabetic. When we suffer from a cold or headache we think we are ill but a cancer patient recovering from chemotherapy wouldn’t consider a headache as being ill.
Today health is explained not only in physical terms but also social, emotional, mental and sometimes spiritual; rather than in the past where health was considered to be opposite of sickness. Having a balance between these 5 dimensions can create happiness, satisfaction for an individual and be considered healthy.
The personal judgments that people make about their level of health show the relative nature of health, with our health being relative to others and ourselves over time. A person’s relative health refers to their state of health in a particular circumstance such as age. For example, an 80 year old might be described as relatively healthy if they have no major illnesses, but suffer from mild arthritis and tooth loss. In comparison, a 30 year old with the same health status would be described as relatively unhealthy because mild arthritis and tooth loss are unusual and negative conditions for a 30 year old. Our health varies over time, shifting from minute to minute, day to day and year to year. Accidents, illness, personal experience or environmental factors can change our level of health at any time in our lives from being very well to very unwell or even to critically ill then back to full health. These continual changes in our state of health mean that health is dynamic.
The Physical Dimension of health is the physical matter of the body functions; it depends on levels of fitness and energy, size and weight. The first thing people think of when it comes to health is a person’s physical fitness or freedom from...
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