What It Means and How To Understand It

We all want to live healthy lives and want to lead a long and fulfilling life. The definition of “healthy” is personal. It depends on your circumstances, culture and beliefs. Healthy living is not about depriving yourself of food, shelter and exercise. It is about being well nourished, active and caring for yourself, family and community.


Managing disease and disability require a comprehensive public health policy and comprehensive health services program. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have been applied over time for different purposes. Today, most health professionals consider it to be the total quality of life attained by an individual, coupled with the capacity to participate in community activities and contribute to the economic, social and health status of the nation. The concept of health is increasingly important for older adults because it helps them maintain or establish a good quality of life and attain greater independence.

Older adults also face a variety of changes in their lives. These changes affect their ability to take proper care of themselves and in managing disease. Some of these changes are caused by advancing age, some are related to changes in body structure and function, and others are related to changes in lifestyle. As they age, older adults need to focus on prevention of chronic diseases, which can cause major discomfort and can sometimes be fatal. They need to focus on achieving optimum health and on achieving better life course management through a comprehensive public health policy.

Health defines health in terms of a state of complete physical, emotional and social well Being. It is the ability to achieve and sustain optimum health. Wellness is about knowing and adopting ways of life that promote health, rather than hindering it.

Wellness therefore, pertains to a state of total physical, emotional and social well being. It implies having good health and well being. It is a progressive well being that implies an improvement of your health over a period of time. The concept of health promotion is a growing concern among the adult population in the United States. The health services industry recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach to wellness. This approach includes prevention, early detection, and treatment of diseases and conditions that can cause serious adverse health effects if left untreated.

As the needs of older adults continue to change, the field of public health will experience many challenges. Health promotion and health education will continue to play an important role in the development of services to meet the needs of these diverse groups of people. This definition of health defines health as the ability to survive and thrive.