When we talk about health, it is common for many people to think about physical health, whether or not a person has an illness. However, the concept of health is much broader and encompasses other areas of our lives .
There are different definitions of this concept, but one of the most accurate is that of the WHO, which was made public in the Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, which was adopted at the International Health Conference held in New York in 1946. This definition, which has remained unchanged since then, states that health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”.
Types of health, explained
Next we will see what characteristics each type of health has .
1. Physical health
Physical health refers to the general physical condition of people at a given time. It is the well-being of the body, and the optimal functioning of the body. It is the absence of diseases and the good physiological functioning of the body . Viral attacks or injuries have a negative effect on our physical health, which is also altered by other factors. This is why it is necessary to:
- Rest and sleep properly, as well as rest when necessary.
- Eat well and ingest nutrients appropriately.
- Playing sports and keeping in good physical condition.
- Take care of personal hygiene to avoid infections and diseases.
- Visit your doctor regularly to check for diseases.
- Possess emotional harmony, since emotional health affects physical health. For example, when a person suffers stress, his or her immune system is weakened .
2. Mental Health
Mental health, which is also often called emotional health, is a complex concept, which does not only refer to whether or not a person has a psychological disorder . It is characterised by having a high level of self-esteem, to feel good about oneself, to be motivated with life and to have vital objectives that help one to live the days with optimism and hope, to the capacity of resilience and to face problems and to enjoy emotional balance, autonomy and a life free of stress and excessive worries.
To improve emotional health, it is possible to follow tips like these:
- Take an Emotional Intelligence workshop to improve the ability to manage emotions.
- Doing sport , because it not only improves the appearance and physical condition, but also facilitates the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin or endorphins, which cause a feeling of pleasure and happiness.
- Doing activities that make us enjoy and give meaning to our lives.
- To have realistic goals for life and to fight for them.
- Encourage positive interpersonal relationships.
- Living the present and practicing acceptance .
You can read more about these tips in the article “Emotional Health: 7 tips to improve it”.
3. Social Health
Human beings are social beings, and much of our well-being is determined by the conditions that surround us , that is, our environment. In fact, even our own identity is built and developed in interaction with others.
However, social health is not simply about having friends or not, it is about our living conditions, such as having a stable job, economic stability, access to health care, access to leisure and recreational activities, etc.
In addition to the types of health mentioned in the previous lines, and which are part of the WHO definition, there are also other classifications of health, as we will see below.
1. Sexual Health
Sexual health is a state of physical, mental, and social health that is related to sexuality – enjoying one’s body and having healthy sexual relationships. Sexual health problems can be varied. To learn more, read our article: “The 8 most common sexual problems and how to treat them”
2. Food Health
Eating healthy is an important part of our body. Food health is related to the nutrients we take in and the amounts we eat, as well as the times when we do so.
3. Environmental health
Environmental health is that which is linked to the environment in which a person lives . That is, they are the external factors that affect a person. For example, the work environment may cause stress that, in turn, may cause psychological problems such as anxiety, insomnia and depression, but also physical problems, such as diarrhoea or constipation.
Noise pollution from a location also refers to environmental health, because exposure to harmful noise can cause physical health consequences to a person.
4. Public Health
It is the collective health and the influence of political decisions when it comes to ensuring the health of a given population . It is related to the protection managed by governments.
5. Economic health
A type of health based on enjoying good economic stability and in which the balance between income and expenses, whether of a person or a financial project, is not negative.
6. Family health
The family is important in a person’s development and health, but there are families that are considered toxic because of their harmful influence due to their relational patterns . The good health of the family positively affects its members.
7. Occupational health
Occupational health has to do with the application of measures that allow a positive work climate to be maintained and that favour the well-being of employees . In our article “12 signs that you are in a toxic work environment” we go into this subject in depth.