Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being in which infirmity and disease are absent. There are various definitions used over the years for different purposes. It has been postulated that the definition of health is relative, because it is influenced by the existing circumstances and social context in which we live. Some others feel that the definition of health includes individual components that reflect the person’s culture and environment, while some others believe that health is relative to a community.
In recent times there has been a resurgence in interest in the definition of health and well being as influenced by the philosophy of social sciences, particularly anthropology, sociology and psychology. According to the philosophy of this school, human well-being is determined by three elements: self-respect, self-confidence and interpersonal relationships. According to this definition, wellness is the sum of these elements, with the interdependence of each element reflecting the interdependence of the other elements and their respective effects on the well-being of a person. According to this school, a human right is the right to be healthy and the means to achieve this should be established by the individuals through social norms and medical methods.
For the most part, the definition of human health in the philosophical perspective is associated with physical well being. However, there is a growing trend in recent years to include mental health and wellness within the definition of good health. It has been postulated that the improvement of one’s mental state and thus one’s general outlook results in higher levels of productivity, greater levels of happiness and an improved quality of life. This view is opposed to the view that the definition of good health is solely a physical factor, for there is much meaning attributed to the mental state as well as to the physical aspects of a person.