The Conceptualization of Health in the Public Domain

Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and disease are absent. It is a state where the body is capable of enduring changes that other people would consider normal, though our bodies can’t tell the difference between what is truly normal and what is not. It is our standard condition but with some help we can expect to have good health. With what we eat, the quality of our sleep and the level of stress in our lives can all affect our health. So what can we do to be healthy?


The dictionary defines health as good physical and mental wellbeing, but defining health is more complex. What we consider to be good physical and mental health is subject to individual judgment. Some people may consider an unhealthy weight to be obese while others may consider being overweight as good health.

A better definition is good health that exists when there is an absence of disease or disability and not expected to return to normalcy over time. It can also exist when the body has been able to overcome initial challenges such as childhood obesity, heart disease, cancer and serious accidents. Good health is influenced by external factors such as a balanced diet, regular exercise and a reduction in environmental toxins. It can also be a reflection of internal factors such as spirituality, attitude, self-confidence and motivation.

In order to have a proper definition of health, it is important to first be able to measure it. An approach to health would be the concept of defining health as the ability to be in existence without any known illness or suffering from any known disease or disability. This definition excludes people who have a known illness or disability that is associated with a social, economic or medical model that is currently being used to determine the definition of health. These people would be placed in the category of individuals who require special consideration under the medical model.

There are two major ways to measure health. There are the physical and the mental aspects of it. The physical aspect of it includes things like the definition of abnormal anatomy and functioning as well as abnormal physiology, endocrinology, immunology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, clinical radiology, imaging studies and laboratory investigations that support causality.

The other is the mental well-being. Mental health is a composite of the aspects of the four facets of general health. A major factor is missing personal identification and feeling of worth. A major component is the integration of appraisal processes such as the self-esteem perspective, the need for social skills, the need for assertiveness, interpersonal relations and communication. The other factor is financial health, which refers to the interrelationship between the financial well-being and the physical, emotional, intellectual and physical well-being.