What is good health?

Topics: Health, Public health, Mental health Pages: 5 (1593 words) Published: April 7, 2014
The definition of health is ‘the state of being free from illness or injury’ (Definition of health, 2013). There are five main components of health including physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual health. All of these five components have inter-relationships in one way or another and can both positively and negatively impact the well-being of a person. An example of this is the strong link between physical health, spiritual health and mental health. Being physically healthy and exercising does not only improve your mental health but also your social and spiritual health as well. Scientists have proven that poor physical health brings an increased risk of depression, as do the social and relationship problems that can be common among people. This essay will examine why all five components of health are important in maintaining well-being and be able to function and contribute to society. Physical health is when the body functions at its optimal level, is free of disease and functions as it is designed to. In order to have good physical health we need to look after our bodies so they can work as best as they can. Nutrition and exercise are critical to the body functioning properly and to be healthy. Nutrition is essential for energy and for the body to continue to work as it is designed to. Exercise is important for the body to keep good muscle tone and keep your lungs functioning well. People who do not do sufficient physical activity have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, colon and breast cancers, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Low levels of physical activity are a major risk factor for ill health and mortality from all causes (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Being physically active improves mental and musculoskeletal health and reduces other risk factors such as overweight, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013). The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend that we should undertake at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013). The World Health Organisation’s definition of mental health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease” (WHO 2013). In simple terms it is good brain health (Grohol 2008). Many people consider good mental health to be the emotional and psychological well-being where you can cope with normal stresses can work productively and can make a good contribution to their community (Mental health basics, 2011). Mental health describes our social, emotional, and psychological states, all wrapped up into one (Grohol 2008). Staying active and having some daily exercise in your life contributes to good mental health, as does having a good life balance with work and your social life (Grohol 2008). The lack of these things in a person’s life may also lead to poor mental health or mental illness. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2013) states that symptoms of a mental disorder were experienced at some time during a twelve-month period by an estimated 3.2 million people (20% of the population aged between 16 and 24), while 7.3 million (45%) reported a lifetime mental disorder (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013). Improving mental health means to value and accept yourself (2003 Mind). It is also important to take care of your body, exercise, get plenty of sleep as well as surrounding yourself with good people who care about you. Good social health mainly focusses on yourself and who you feel comfortable around in your everyday life. This also includes good social skills and the ability to listen. Having good relationships with friends and family and being able to communicate openly and confidently with people around you is an example of good social health. Positive impacts of good social health include a sense of...
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