Most people consider health as a freedom from disease. Others think health as vitality to be fit. Considering health as absence from disease is a narrow concept. A positive concept of health will lead us to positive health. The pursuit of positive health will include help and advice in nutrition, growth and development, immunity, maintenance, knowledge and care of body, exercise, proper rest and emotional satisfaction.
Definitions of Health
“Health is defined as quality of life which enables a person to live most and to serve best with normal feelings, sensation and functions.”
“Health means the smooth functioning of the body and a proper balance between the individual being and environments.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined Health as “a state of complete physical, mental, social well being and not merely the absence or infirmity.”
The important factors that influence an individual’s health are :
1). Personal Habits i.e. food, sleep, activity, hygiene, posture.
2). Hereditary Factors play a vital role in shaping the personality. They includes – Health and potency of the egg cell of the mother and sperm cell of the father, immunity from the mother, healthy growth of foetus during pregnancy, nutritional status of the family; eating habits of the clan and racial characteristics, hereditary disease.
3). Mental Attitude: Positive Attitude adds zest of life and increases health and strength. Adjustment and Accommodation lead to happiness, while Negative, destructive, grumbling attitude lead to frustration, uneasiness and ill-health.
4). Environment: This means the surroundings, the climatic conditions, religious, socio-cultural and emotional conditions in which an individual is living. Internal environment include- the temperature of the body, normal functions of internal systems, chemistry and specific gravity of the blood, juices and secretions of the body, health and disease process within. External environment refers to cleanliness of clothes, house, school, office, street, light, and supply of pure water, availability and shortage of nourishing food stuff, atmosphere at occupational and professional places.
5). Socio-Cultural Influences: Superstitions, tradition, customs, food habits and fads, cooking practices, child rearing practices, population, urbanisation, family size, religions benefits and rituals poverty, ignorance, economic standard and purchasing power, governmental pattern.