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Health is the ability of a biological system to acquire, convert, allocate, distribute, and utilize energy with maximum efficiency. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined human health in a broader sense in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”[1][2] This definition has been subject to controversy, in particular as lacking operational value, the ambiguity in developing cohesive health strategies and because of the problem created by use of the word “complete”, which makes it practically impossible to achieve.[3][4][5] Other definitions have been proposed, among which a recent definition that correlates health and personal satisfaction.[6] [7]
The World Health Organization describes mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.[37] Mental Health is not just the absence of mental illness.[38]
Roughly a quarter of all adults 18 and over in the US are considered diagnosable with mental illness. Mental illnesses are the leading cause of disability in the US and Canada. Examples include, schizophrenia, ADHD, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and autism.[40]
Jump up ^ “Creating a Pandemic of Health: Opportunities and Lessons for a University Initiative at the Intersection of Health, Equity, and Innovation | Harvard Public Health Review: A Student Publication”. harvardpublichealthreview.org. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
Genetics, or inherited traits from parents, also play a role in determining the health status of individuals and populations. This can encompass both the predisposition to certain diseases and health conditions, as well as the habits and behaviors individuals develop through the lifestyle of their families. For example, genetics may play a role in the manner in which people cope with stress, either mental, emotional or physical. For example, obesity is a significant problem in the United States that contributes to bad mental health and causes stress in the lives of great numbers of people[33]. (One difficulty is the issue raised by the debate over the relative strengths of genetics and other factors; interactions between genetics and environment may be of particular importance.)
Future historians may wonder how we stayed calm in the face of 2017’s global economic and nuclear threats let local drug overdosing, homelessness and, for many, unreachable real-estate prices. They may also conclude that 2018’s perils vastly exceeded those before. For now, though, here are some folk from this column who helped give 2017 its […]
MacEwan University Sport and Wellness is your home recreation facility located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta in the Christenson Family Centre for Sport and Wellness. Our accredited fitness and aquatic facility hosts a large fitness area featuring two drop weight areas, half racks, Olympic lifting platforms, strength and cardio machines; a six-lane 25-metre pool with teach area and a 40-person hot tub; a beautiful three-court gymnasium; steam rooms; and fitness and spin studios.
Do you have a health concern for yourself or a child? Call Health Link by dialing 811 for quick and easy advice from a registered nurse 24/7. They will ask questions, assess symptoms and determine the best care for you.
The notions behind the term share the same roots as the alternative medicine movement, in 19th-century movements in the US and Europe that sought to optimize health and to consider the whole person, like New Thought, Christian Science, and Lebensreform.[2][3]
Need help finding the nearest immunization clinic? Wondering how to find a family doctor? Looking for a program to manage chronic disease or need to sign up for prenatal classes? Call Health Link for all your questions around where to go for health care and help navigating the health system.
A dementia diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience for both patients and their families. Dementia Advice through Health Link, helps ease the stress by providing compassionate advice about living with dementia.
Jump up ^ World Health Organization.Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19–22 June 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948. In Grad, Frank P. (2002). “The Preamble of the Constitution of the World Health Organization”. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 80 (12): 982.
Jump up ^ “OECD.StatExtracts, Health, Non-Medical Determinants of Health, Body weight, Obese population, self-reported and measured, Total population” (Online Statistics). OECD’s iLibrary. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
The focus of public health interventions is to prevent and manage diseases, injuries and other health conditions through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behavior, communities, and (in aspects relevant to human health) environments. Its aim is to prevent health problems from happening or re-occurring by implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services and conducting research.[53] In many cases, treating a disease or controlling a pathogen can be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak. Vaccination programs and distribution of condoms to prevent the spread of communicable diseases are examples of common preventive public health measures, as are educational campaigns to promote vaccination and the use of condoms (including overcoming resistance to such).
Jump up ^ Pilkington, Stephanie (August 7, 2013). “Causes and consequences of sleep deprivation in hospitalized patients”. Nursing Standard. RCN Publishing. 27 (49): 35–42. doi:10.7748/ns2013.08.27.49.35.e7649. PMID 23924135. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
The maintenance and promotion of health is achieved through different combination of physical, mental, and social well-being, together sometimes referred to as the “health triangle.”[26][27] The WHO’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion further stated that health is not just a state, but also “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”[28]

The great positive impact of public health programs is widely acknowledged. Due in part to the policies and actions developed through public health, the 20th century registered a decrease in the mortality rates for infants and children and a continual increase in life expectancy in most parts of the world. For example, it is estimated that life expectancy has increased for Americans by thirty years since 1900,[55] and worldwide by six years since 1990.[56]
Since launching, province-wide, in May 2016, there have been more than 1,000 referrals supporting Albertans living with or caring for someone who has dementia, including those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jump up ^ Jadad, Alejandro R. (2016-11-01). “Creating a pandemic of health: What is the role of digital technologies?”. Journal of Public Health Policy. 37 (2): 260–268. doi:10.1057/s41271-016-0016-1. ISSN 0197-5897.
An important way to maintain your personal health is to have a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods that provide nutrients to your body. Such nutrients give you energy and keep your body running. Nutrients help build and strengthen bones, muscles, and tendons and also regulate body processes (i.e. blood pressure). The food guide pyramid is a pyramid-shaped guide of healthy foods divided into sections. Each section shows the recommended intake for each food group (i.e. Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, and Sugars). Making healthy food choices is important because it can lower your risk of heart disease, developing some types of cancer, and it will contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.[44]
Public health has been described as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.”[52] It is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic). Public health has many sub-fields, but typically includes the interdisciplinary categories of epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Environmental health, community health, behavioral health, and occupational health are also important areas of public health.
Lifestyle choices are contributing factors to poor health in many cases. These include smoking cigarettes, and can also include a poor diet, whether it is overeating or an overly constrictive diet. Inactivity can also contribute to health issues and also a lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, and neglect of oral hygiene (Moffett2013).There are also genetic disorders that are inherited by the person and can vary in how much they affect the person and when they surface (Moffett, 2013).
Health science is the branch of science focused on health. There are two main approaches to health science: the study and research of the body and health-related issues to understand how humans (and animals) function, and the application of that knowledge to improve health and to prevent and cure diseases and other physical and mental impairments. The science builds on many sub-fields, including biology, biochemistry, physics, epidemiology, pharmacology, medical sociology. Applied health sciences endeavor to better understand and improve human health through applications in areas such as health education, biomedical engineering, biotechnology and public health.
Just as there was a shift from viewing disease as a state to thinking of it as a process, the same shift happened in definitions of health. Again, the WHO played a leading role when it fostered the development of the health promotion movement in the 1980s. This brought in a new conception of health, not as a state, but in dynamic terms of resiliency, in other words, as “a resource for living”. 1984 WHO revised the definition of health defined it as “the extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations and satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment. Health is a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living; it is a positive concept, emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities”.[11] Thus, health referred to the ability to maintain homeostasis and recover from insults. Mental, intellectual, emotional and social health referred to a person’s ability to handle stress, to acquire skills, to maintain relationships, all of which form resources for resiliency and independent living.[10]
Edmonton city councillors will vote next week on how late to allow stores to sell recreational marijuana and one councillor says he believes the city should be “fairly conservative about the closing hours.” Continue reading →
As the number of service sector jobs has risen in developed countries, more and more jobs have become sedentary, presenting a different array of health problems than those associated with manufacturing and the primary sector. Contemporary problems, such as the growing rate of obesity and issues relating to stress and overwork in many countries, have further complicated the interaction between work and health.
Jump up ^ Stokes, J.; Noren, J.; Shindell, S. (1982-01-01). “Definition of terms and concepts applicable to clinical preventive medicine”. Journal of Community Health. 8 (1): 33–41. doi:10.1007/bf01324395. ISSN 0094-5145. PMID 6764783.
Jump up ^ Housman, Jeff; Dorman, Steve (September–October 2005). “The Alameda County Study: A Systematic, Chronological Review” (PDF). American Journal of Health Education. Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 36 (5): 302–308. doi:10.1080/19325037.2005.10608200. ISSN 1055-6699. ERIC document number EJ792845. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
Jump up ^ World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe (1984). Health promotion : a discussion document on the concept and principles : summary report of the Working Group on Concept and Principles of Health Promotion, Copenhagen, 9–13 July 1984 (ICP/HSR 602(m01)5 p). Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Public health also takes various actions to limit the health disparities between different areas of the country and, in some cases, the continent or world. One issue is the access of individuals and communities to health care in terms of financial, geographical or socio-cultural constraints to accessing and using services.[54] Applications of the public health system include the areas of maternal and child health, health services administration, emergency response, and prevention and control of infectious and chronic diseases.
The concept of the “health field,” as distinct from medical care, emerged from the Lalonde report from Canada. The report identified three interdependent fields as key determinants of an individual’s health. These are:[22]
Since the late 1970s, the federal Healthy People Initiative has been a visible component of the United States’ approach to improving population health.[12][13] In each decade, a new version of Healthy People is issued,[14] featuring updated goals and identifying topic areas and quantifiable objectives for health improvement during the succeeding ten years, with assessment at that point of progress or lack thereof. Progress has been limited to many objectives, leading to concerns about the effectiveness of Healthy People in shaping outcomes in the context of a decentralized and uncoordinated US health system. Healthy People 2020 gives more prominence to health promotion and preventive approaches and adds a substantive focus on the importance of addressing social determinants of health. A new expanded digital interface facilitates use and dissemination rather than bulky printed books as produced in the past. The impact of these changes to Healthy People will be determined in the coming years.[15]
Many governments view occupational health as a social challenge and have formed public organizations to ensure the health and safety of workers. Examples of these include the British Health and Safety Executive and in the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which conducts research on occupational health and safety, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which handles regulation and policy relating to worker safety and health.[63][64][65]
Prolonged psychological stress may negatively impact health, and has been cited as a factor in cognitive impairment with aging, depressive illness, and expression of disease.[60] Stress management is the application of methods to either reduce stress or increase tolerance to stress. Relaxation techniques are physical methods used to relieve stress. Psychological methods include cognitive therapy, meditation, and positive thinking, which work by reducing response to stress. Improving relevant skills, such as problem solving and time management skills, reduces uncertainty and builds confidence, which also reduces the reaction to stress-causing situations where those skills are applicable.

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