Main Category: Public Health
Also Included In: Mental Health
Article Date: 21 May 2009 - 8:00 PDT
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Find other articles on:"what does it mean healthy"
The English word "health"comes from the Old English word hale, meaning "wholeness, a being whole, sound or well,". Hale comes from the Proto-Indo-European root kailo, meaning "whole, uninjured, of good omen".Kailo comes from the Proto-Germanic root khalbas, meaning "something divided". Medilexicon's medical dictionary has three definitions for health, the firstbeing "The state of the organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease or abnormality" (clickhere to read the other two).
World Health Organization's (WHO's) definition of "health"
The most famous modern definition of health was created during a Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June,1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States(Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
The Definition has not been amended since 1948.
During the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in1986, the WHO said that health is:
"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."
The Lancet questions WHO's definition of health
An article in The Lancet states that health is not a "state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being". Neither is it "merely theabsence of disease or infirmity". The article says the WHO definitions of health will not do in an era marked by new understandings of disease at molecular, individual, and societal levels. (The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9666, Page 781, 7 March 2009).
Two aspects to health
Famous health quotes
"There are some remedies worse than the disease."
"We must turn to nature itself, tothe observations of the body in health and in disease to learn the truth."
"Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
"I am convinced digestion is the great secret to life."
"Nature, time and patience are three great physicians." H.G. Bohn
"Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense."
"Time is the great physician."
"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools."
"I am dying with the help of too many physicians."
Alexander the Great"God heals, and the doctor takes the fee."
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."
"Time is the great physician."
"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
"Water, air, and cleanliness are the chiefarticles in my pharmacopoeia."
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."
"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses."
"Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance."
"As you improve health in a society,...