Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of total health wherein body systems are functioning at their optimal levels. A number of definitions have also been used over time for different purposes. For example, the present-day consensus definition of health is “the quality of life that individuals can attain through systems they live in.” This definition is inclusive of the physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects of health.
Health studies on the prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and injuries that affect man. An important aspect of any definition of health is the assessment of a person’s current health status. The National Health Information Center maintains a list of six universal health terms, which are used in defining health. According to this list, one must know the six health terms as a way to be familiar with health terminology. To facilitate this, the US Department of Health and Human Services has introduced the National Health Identifier, a nine-digit code used to identify individuals at risk for certain diseases.
A definition of health can be influenced by social context. For instance, in defining health systems, one must take into consideration the socioeconomic environment in which an individual lives. Socioeconomic status, as it relates to health systems, can be viewed in two ways. One is by way of personal characteristics, such as income level, work history, education, and other factors. The second is through sociocultural norms, which are cultural values, beliefs, and practices that individuals follow.