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, and worldwide by six years since 1990.
Personal health depends partially on the active, passive, and assisted cues people observe and adopt about their own health. These include personal actions for preventing or minimizing the effects of a disease, usually a chronic condition, through integrative care. They also include personal hygiene practices to prevent infection and illness, such as bathing and washing hands with soap; brushing and flossing teeth; storing, preparing and handling food safely; and many others. The information gleaned from personal observations of daily living – such as about sleep patterns, exercise behavior, nutritional intake and environmental features – may be used to inform personal decisions and actions (e.g., “I feel tired in the morning so I am going to try sleeping on a different pillow”), as well as clinical decisions and treatment plans (e.g., a patient who notices his or her shoes are tighter than usual may be having exacerbation of left-sided heart failure, and may require diuretic medication to reduce fluid overload).
Achieving and maintaining health is an ongoing process, shaped by both the evolution of health care knowledge and practices as well as personal strategies and organized interventions for staying healthy.
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”. 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.
CALGARY – AHS is confident there is no ongoing health risk to the individuals transported from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation on Wednesday, April 4, to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Similarly, there is no health risk to the public.
Jump up ^ Housman & Dorman 2005, pp. 303–304. “The linear model supported previous findings, including regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, abstinence from smoking, sleeping 7–8 hours a night, and maintenance of a healthy weight play an important role in promoting longevity and delaying illness and death.” Citing Wingard DL, Berkman LF, Brand RJ (1982). “A multivariate analysis of health-related practices: a nine-year mortality follow-up of the Alameda County Study”. Am J Epidemiol. 116 (5): 765–775. PMID 7148802.
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 →
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 […]
The definition of health has evolved over time. In keeping with the biomedical perspective, early definitions of health focused on the theme of the body’s ability to function; health was seen as a state of normal function that could be disrupted from time to time by disease. An example of such a definition of health is: “a state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychological integrity; ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress”. Then in 1948, in a radical departure from previous definitions, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a definition that aimed higher: linking health to well-being, in terms of “physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. Although this definition was welcomed by some as being innovative, it was also criticized as being vague, excessively broad and was not construed as measurable. For a long time, it was set aside as an impractical ideal and most discussions of health returned to the practicality of the biomedical model.
Occupational wellness is about enjoying your occupational endeavors and appreciating your contributions. This dimension of wellness encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work.
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”. Mental Health is not just the absence of mental illness.
The environment is often cited as an important factor influencing the health status of individuals. This includes characteristics of the natural environment, the built environment and the social environment. Factors such as clean water and air, adequate housing, and safe communities and roads all have been found to contribute to good health, especially to the health of infants and children. Some studies have shown that a lack of neighborhood recreational spaces including natural environment leads to lower levels of personal satisfaction and higher levels of obesity, linked to lower overall health and well being. This suggests that the positive health benefits of natural space in urban neighborhoods should be taken into account in public policy and land use.
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Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.
Jump up ^ Jonathan, E. Fielding; Shiriki, Kumanyika; Ronald, W. Manderscheid (2013). “A Perspective on the Development of the Healthy People 2020 Framework for Improving U.S. Population Health” (PDF). Public Health Reviews. 35. Archived from the original on 2014-04-02.
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.
There are eight dimensions of wellness: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. Each dimension of wellness is interrelated with another. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. One can reach an optimal level of wellness by understanding how to maintain and optimize each of the dimensions of wellness.
Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This realm encourages us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment. Everyone can have a strong environmental conscious simply by raising their awareness.
The term was partly inspired by the preamble to the World Health Organization’s 1948 constitution which said: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It was initially brought to use in the US by Halbert L. Dunn, M.D. in the 1950s; Dunn was the chief of the National Office of Vital Statistics and discussed “high-level wellness,” which he defined as “an integrated method of functioning, which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable.” The term “wellness” was then adopted by John Travis who opened a “Wellness Resource Center” in Mill Valley, California in the mid-1970s, which was seen by mainstream culture as part of the hedonistic culture of Northern California at that time and typical of the Me generation. Travis marketed the center as alternative medicine, opposed to what he said was the disease-oriented approach of medicine. The concept was further popularized by Robert Rodale through Prevention magazine, Bill Hetler, a doctor at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, who set up an annual academic conference on wellness, and Tom Dickey, who established the Berkeley Wellness Letter in the 1980s. The term had become accepted as standard usage in the 1990s.
The mission of Student Health and Counseling Services is to enhance the physical and mental health of students in order to help them achieve academic success, personal development and lifelong wellness by providing an integrated program of quality, accessible, cost sensitive and confidential healthcare services, tailored to their unique and diverse needs and to assist the University community, through consultation and education, to develop a healthy campus environment consistent with UC Davis “Principles of Community”.
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 ^ “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.
Mental illness is described as ‘the spectrum of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral conditions that interfere with social and emotional well-being and the lives and productivity of people. Having a mental illness can seriously impair, temporarily or permanently, the mental functioning of a person. Other terms include: ‘mental health problem’, ‘illness’, ‘disorder’, ‘dysfunction’.
Jump up ^ Patel, Sanjay R.; Hu, Frank B. (January 17, 2008). “Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review”. Obesity (Silver Spring). 16 (3): 643–653. doi:10.1038/oby.2007.118. PMC 2723045 . PMID 18239586.
Jump up ^ Björk J, Albin M, Grahn P, Jacobsson H, Ardö J, Wadbro J, Ostergren PO (2008). “Recreational Values of the Natural Environment in Relation to Neighborhood Satisfaction, Physical Activity, Obesity and Well being” (PDF). Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 62 (4): e2. doi:10.1136/jech.2007.062414. PMID 18365329.
Physical exercise enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It strengthens muscles and improves the cardiovascular system. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) there are four types of exercise; Endurance, Strength, Flexibility, and Balance. Endurance exercises are those that will elevate your heart rate including; walking, jogging, running, hiking etc. 
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.
Jump up ^ Hirshkowitz, Max; Whiton, Kaitlyn; et al. (14 January 2015). “National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary”. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. Elsevier Inc. 1: 40–43. doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
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.
Social wellness helps you perform social roles effectively and comfortably, and create a support network. This dimension of wellness allows you to not only develop encouraging relationships with peers, but also intimate relationships with romantic partners.
Jump up ^ “OECD.StatExtracts, Health, Non-Medical Determinants of Health, Body weight, Overweight or obese population, self-reported and measured, Total population” (Online Statistics). OECD’s iLibrary. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
Since the late 1970s, the federal Healthy People Initiative has been a visible component of the United States’ approach to improving population health. In each decade, a new version of Healthy People is issued, 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.
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.
Personal health also depends partially on the social structure of a person’s life. The maintenance of strong social relationships, volunteering, and other social activities have been linked to positive mental health and also increased longevity. One American study among seniors over age 70, found that frequent volunteering was associated with reduced risk of dying compared with older persons who did not volunteer, regardless of physical health status. Another study from Singapore reported that volunteering retirees had significantly better cognitive performance scores, fewer depressive symptoms, and better mental well-being and life satisfaction than non-volunteering retirees.
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.
Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner resources so you can learn and grow from experiences.
Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.