Promoting good health

Topics: Health, Health care, Public health Pages: 26 (9672 words) Published: March 13, 2014

Unit Three: Promoting Good Health

A01: Principles of Health and Well-being

Danielle de Kerckhove

Throughout this assignment I intend to come to a comprehensive understanding of the principles of health and well-being. I will define, from a range of resources including primary (surveys carried out) and secondary evidence (websites and books used), what health and well-being can be termed as in both a positive and negative sense. I will assess how health and well-being means different things to different people and how it is relative to the environment, surroundings and personal experiences of a person.

I will come to an in-depth understanding of how two different factors affect health and well-being physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. These will include factors such as attitudes and prejudices, lifestyle choices, social factors, environmental issues, financial and physical factors. I also intend to comprehend and conclude what the apparent differences between medical and social models of health and well-being are. I will do this through the application of a ‘compare and contrast’ technique. I will, in addition, aim to understand why individuals often fail to conform to health advice. For example, reasons such as peer pressure or lack of knowledge may come into this area.

Finally I will describe two ways an individual’s quality of life can be affected by ill health. I will do this through a case study, gaining qualitative data which is essential to coming to a deeper understanding, where an interview of an individual will be important.

I will now begin to investigate the differing definitions of ‘health and well-being’. There are both professional and lay definitions of the word. Research has shown The World Health Organisations professionally defines health as a,

‘state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity...a resource for everyday life, not the object of living.’

Another professional definition of health can be seen in Mosby’s Medical Dictionary (8th edition). It defines health as,

‘a condition of physical, mental, and social well-being and the absence of disease or other abnormal condition. It is not a static condition; constant change and adaptation to stress result in homeostasis.’

Also René Dubos, often quoted in nursing education, says, "The states of health or disease are the expressions of the success or failure experienced by the organism in its efforts to respond adaptively to environmental challenges” showing how important being able to adapt to your environment is for health.

Finally, another professional definition of the term ‘health’ can be seen from the English Collins dictionary,

‘The overall condition of an organism at a given time.’

A lay definition of health is by a non-professional and often encompasses beliefs influencing ordinary people and how they view health and illness. For example, a sixth form student showed a more general viewpoint where beliefs are incorporated by terming health as,

‘not being ill, eating correctly and exercising’

However, it must be considered that much has been researched and written about people’s differing understanding about health and well-being, so there is not only one correct definition. For example, through internet research I have found further explanation,

‘health and well-being can refer to actual physical health, as defined by physical symptomatology and epidemiological rates of physical illness and diseases...it can also refer to the mental, psychological, or emotional aspect indicated by emotional states and epidemiological rates of mental illnesses and diseases’. (http://wfnetwork.bc.edu/glossary_entry.php?term=Health%20and%20Well%20Being,%20Definition(s)%20of&area=All)

This definition means whilst health and well-being can be explained in terms of physical health (studying symptoms and factors, such...
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