The Concept of Health and Wellness in the Developed Countries

Health is a condition of mind and physical well being where infirmity and disease are absent. A person who has the mentality that “health means illness” is the kind of person who will always remain ill or become very sick. We all want to be healthy and live longer. The first step towards achieving this is by staying fit.

We need mental as well-being, social well-being and physical well-being. If we are not healthy physically, then we cannot enjoy our lives fully. On the other hand, if we are very healthy physically but feel very bad mentally, then we might have some problems functioning properly in our social life or at home, etc. This is called the “hedonic balance” or “psychic wellness”.

The absence of any of the three mentioned components in the equation define health. In addition to that absence can also cause severe health consequences such as death. There is no way we can get back the absence of any of the components. Once they are missing, health will be the inevitable result. In other words, all the definitions of health are relative.

As regards health in the developed countries, the prevalent definition is that of having had a regular medical check up and being within the age group for receiving immunizations. The second element is having a good diet and that too in the correct proportion. These elements help prevent illness and ward off the adverse effects of aging. The third component is preventing illnesses through vaccination. Many of the vaccines recommended for the developed countries have preventive qualities in them. But we have to remember that they were not developed to protect against every sickness.

Health is the absence of illness, disease or death due to some known cause. It does not include any element that has a combination of the above elements. Thus the definition of health as absence of disease or death cannot be used as a universal basis. In other words, what is health in general terms may be included in this context only.

Now coming to the third element of the definition of health, it is the quality of the life that is achieved through the total quantity of healthy physical activities. It is the quality of the life that one experiences because of the absence of any mental or emotional disorders. This type of health is not affected by any deprivation or by any physical limitation. Thus the mental and emotional disorders are taken into consideration in this context.

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