Determinants of Health & Well-Being

Health is a state of optimum physical, emotional and social well being where infirmity and illness are either absent or reduced to the maximum extent. The concept of health is broad – it can be considered to include all the aspects of life that have anything to do with living in a socially healthy environment. The person’s health affects the way he/she functions throughout their lives. A person’s health depends on three main factors; good nutrition, regular exercise and a reasonable level of personal responsibility.


Good nutrition refers to the nutritious diet that a person gets from all the essential food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and lean protein sources. The recommended daily intake of nutrients for optimal health is established by health experts as the minimum requirement of certain nutrients that are required to maintain health and even lead a normal life. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, whole dairy and lean protein sources ensures that a person gets all the essential nutrients needed to lead a happy and productive life. However, if the above mentioned dietary guidelines are not met, then the consequences could either be minor health issues or major health problems that could pose a threat to the future of an individual.

Regular exercise helps in maintaining a fit and healthy body with less fat and blood sugar. Exercising is determined by determinants such as time, place, motivation, energy level and budget. These determinants help in deciding the frequency and length of exercising programs and also the intensity and frequency of the exercises. This healthy lifestyle choice helps in reducing the chances of getting afflicted with chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, obesity, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.

Mental wellness refers to a well-balanced mental state that allows the person to think right and help bring about positive changes to his/her life. Mental wellness includes a healthy lifestyle and good diet, good communication skills, social networks, support from family and friends, relaxation, regular exercises, proper sleep and proper postures. Some other determinants of mental wellness include family history, educational background, intelligence, creativity, emotional intelligence and personality. The state of mental wellness therefore depends on different factors such as the overall health of an individual and the type of lifestyle choices he makes.

Some of the major determinants of health issues are poor eating habits, alcohol, tobacco use and illegal drug use. It has been found out that most of the health issues are directly related to a person’s lifestyle. Thus, if the person is indulging in a bad eating habit or indulging in constant alcohol consumption then there is a great chance of developing heart ailments, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity and osteoporosis. Similarly, if a person is indulging in a constant tobacco use and not making use of any other safe means of inhalation of tobacco smoke then there is a great chance of developing lung cancer, throat cancer and nasal sinusitis.

Determinants of mental disorders may also be contributed by a person’s lifestyle. People with a fast paced life style are more prone to sickness than those who prefer a slow, peaceful and healthy life. Mental disorders can also be caused by an unhealthy body system which may be characterized by lack of proper diet, irregular meals, lack of regular exercises, lack of quality sleep, too much alcohol or drug use and physical inactivity. Illness is defined as a situation whereby a normal person experiences discomfort, pain or discomforts for no apparent reason. A person suffering from any of the above-mentioned determinants of illness will have to undergo a medical examination in order to find out the underlying cause of his illness.