Topics: Health, Public health, Health care Pages: 6 (1297 words) Published: September 2, 2014


What does health mean to individuals?
Meanings of Health
Health means different things to different people e.g. to an elderly person health might mean mobility; for a person with a mental illness health might mean having social contact with peers; for a young person health might equate more to physical activity or body image. Definitions of health

In 1946, the World Health Organization defined health as "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Physical Health
-Body organs functioning efficiently
-Body’s capacity to participate in everyday activities
-Absence of disease.Social Health
-Being able to interact with people in our environment in a way accepted by the standards of the community. -Sense of connection and belonging
-Able to form/maintain relationships
Mental/Emotional Health
-State of mental wellness
-Ability to cope with stresses/changes in life
-Developing positive self-esteem/self-image
-Ability to display emotions appropriately
-Ability to work productively and acceptably within society -Ability to resolves conflicts and maintain realistic perspective in different situations.Spiritual Health -Ability to set realistic goals and have ambitions/aspirations. -Ability to appreciate the needs/feelings of others

-Being in tune with oneself
Dimensions of health

Relative and dynamic nature of health
-“In relation to another period in time”
- “In relation to your potential”
- For example, an individual’s may believe they are healthy compared to a patient in a hospital, but unhealthy compared to an elite athlete. Dynamic
-Constantly changing
-Positioned on a health continuum
Perceptions of health
We base our standards of health on our own past and current circumstances, as well as the health of others. Personal perceptions of health
Personal perceptions of health differ between individuals. For example, an average individual may perceive their own health differently to how an elite athlete judges their health. Our self-assessment of our health is based on a range of factors including: •Personal interpretation of health

•Our behaviours and lifestyle
•Our past and current level of health
•Our attitudes about health conveyed by peers, family and the media •The value we place on the importance of being healthy
•Our beliefs about our capacity to achieve good health
•Our environment

As we get older, our personal perceptions of health changes to reflect our experiences, expectations and beliefs about what we consider “healthy”. Perceptions of the health of others
The factors which influence our perceptions of the health of others include judgements based on: •Stereotypical beliefs (e.g. Elderly people, disabled, elite athletes, homeless, parents, Aborigines) •Living conditions of different groups

•Fitness levels of different groups
•Health behaviours of different groups

Perceptions of health as social constructs
A social construct is a concept that recognises that people have different views based on their social circumstances and ways of seeing, interpreting, interrelating and interacting with their environment. This means that health is greatly influenced by our social, economic and cultural conditions of our family and the society we live in.

Health is affected by:
-Socio-economic status
-Geographic location
-Cultural background
-Level of education
-Community values and expectations
All these factors influence on:
-The understanding we develop of what good health involves
-The expectations we form about our health potential
- Our knowledge of health and the ability to determine our own health -The value we place on maintaining our health
-Our choices about whether we use health products and services and how they are used -How we...
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