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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.
In the first decade of the 21th century, the conceptualization of health as an ability opened the door for self-assessments to become the main indicators to judge the performance of efforts aimed at improving human health[17]. It also created the opportunity for every person to feel healthy, even in the presence of multiple chronic diseases, or a terminal condition, and for the re-examination of determinants of health, away from the traditional approach that focuses on the reduction of the prevalence of diseases[18].
Focusing more on lifestyle issues and their relationships with functional health, data from the Alameda County Study suggested that people can improve their health via exercise, enough sleep, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol use, and avoiding smoking.[29] Health and illness can co-exist, as even people with multiple chronic diseases or terminal illnesses can consider themselves healthy.[30]
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.”[1] 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.”[1] 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.[1] Travis marketed the center as alternative medicine, opposed to what he said was the disease-oriented approach of medicine.[1] 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.[1] The term had become accepted as standard usage in the 1990s.[1]
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.
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.
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 →

CALGARY — Google Assistant is the latest voice-activated, smart-home technology that can deliver Alberta Health Services (AHS) information, including estimated emergency department wait times and the latest AHS news.
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 ^ 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.
Another health issue that causes death or contributes to other health problems is malnutrition, especially among children. One of the groups malnutrition affects most is young children. Approximately 7.5 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition, usually brought on by not having the money to find or make food (Shah, 2014).
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]
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 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”.
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.
Jump up ^ Benz, J; Blakey, C; Oppenheimer, C. C; Scherer, H; Robinson, W. T (2013). “The healthy people initiative: Understanding the user’s perspective”. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 19 (2): 103–9. doi:10.1097/PHH.0b013e318254cc31. PMID 23358287.
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.
Jump up ^ Bos, E.H.; Snippe, E.; de Jonge, P.; Jeronimus, B.F. (2016). “Preserving Subjective Wellbeing in the Face of Psychopathology: Buffering Effects of Personal Strengths and Resources”. PLoS ONE. 11 (3): e0150867. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150867. PMID 26963923.
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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.
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).
Intellectual wellness involves having an open mind when you encounter new ideas and continuing to expand your knowledge. It encourages active participation in scholastic, cultural and community activities.
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]
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]
A number of types of health issues are common around the globe. Disease is one of the most common. According to GlobalIssues.org, approximately 36 million people die each year from non-communicable (not contagious) disease including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease (Shah, 2014).
Jump up ^ “IARC Monographs Programme finds cancer hazards associated with shiftwork, painting and firefighting”. International Agency for Research on Cancer. December 5, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
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.[20][31] 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.[32] This suggests that the positive health benefits of natural space in urban neighborhoods should be taken into account in public policy and land use.
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]
Spiritual wellness allows you to develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose. Spirituality can be represented in many ways, for example, through relaxation or religion. But being spiritually well means knowing which resources to use to cope with issues that come up in everyday life.
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]
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’.[39]
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]
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.
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”.[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]
Generally, the context in which an individual lives is of great importance for both his health status and quality of their life[19]. It is increasingly recognized that health is maintained and improved not only through the advancement and application of health science, but also through the efforts and intelligent lifestyle choices of the individual and society. According to the World Health Organization, the main determinants of health include the social and economic environment, the physical environment and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviors.[20]
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]
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 ^ Garrido M; González-Flores D; Marchena AM; Propr E; García-Parra J; Barriga C; Rodríguez A.B. (2013). “A lycopene-enriched virgin olive oil enhances antioxidant status in humans”. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 93 (8): 1820–6. doi:10.1002/jsfa.5972. PMID 23225211.
Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. Physical health is attained through exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and paying attention to the signs of illness and getting help when needed.
Jump up ^ Andreyeva, Tatiana; Chaloupka, Frank J.; Brownell, Kelly D. (2011). “Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue”. Preventive Medicine. 52 (6): 413–416. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.03.013.
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.[58] 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.[59]
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.
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).[57]
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.)
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
EDMONTON – Nine cases of gastro-intestinal illness (seven in Edmonton and two in Calgary) potentially linked to consumption of raw oysters from British Columbia are under investigation prompting Alberta Health Services (AHS) to remind all Albertans of the risk of illness associated with consumption of raw shellfish, and important precautions to protect themselves.
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”.[8] 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”.[9] 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.[10]
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]

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