Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, mental and emotional well being and not just the absence of illness and disease. Various definitions have also been used over the years. In the US, the National Health Service (NHS) defines health as “the quality of life that individuals experience.” It further goes on to define health as “exceeding the quality of care provided for you and your family.” According to this belief, health can be maintained through “careful monitoring, early diagnosis, proper medication, and voluntary participation.”
The term healthy is also related to well-being. According to the Well Being Commission, well-being is “an essential part of your total health, and it is influenced by many factors such as physical environment, genetics, social environment, work and leisure, and medical conditions.” People who are healthy tend to be happy and physically active. Health and well-being promote good health and contribute to quality of life. For a physically active person, exercise plays a vital role in maintaining good health, as well as other related benefits such as weight control and stress management.
The concept of health and well-being is interdependent. A healthy mental wellbeing is crucial to achieving good health and well-being. In order to promote mental wellness, an individual must become active and learn how to manage his/her stress levels. Mental health services include depression treatments, support groups, therapy and education. These can help an individual cope with the effects of illness, improve his/her social skills, develop self-esteem, and build resilience to illnesses and stress. In the UK, public health professionals and agencies such as the National Health Services (NHS) work together to promote mental wellbeing and physical health by making information and materials available on health and illness, informing the public, developing programs to support mental wellbeing and creating a network of support and information providers.