The human condition is defined as the study of how people experience and react to their environment. Health is also a condition of mental, physical and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. As we age the need for healthy ways of living increases. Being fit and strong, no longer means staying thin. A healthy body and mind lead to happiness and better health.
There are many factors that contribute to a person’s health and quality of life. These determinants can be personal, such as diet and exercise habits, as they can be social and cultural, such as attitudes towards health and fitness, work style and social support systems. Many of these determinants can be influenced by technology, including the media and advertising. Lifestyle also has its determinants, such as stress, smoking and alcohol consumption, and physical activity. These lifestyle determinants are related to both current and future health.
As we age there are multiple transitions happening within our lives, including changes in diet, medicine, and social environments. These changes impact us mentally and physically and must be considered in terms of health and public health. Managing disease through prevention and early identification is essential in preventing the development of chronic and complex diseases.
Managing disease is one of the goals of health promotion. This includes early detection of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer and treatment for existing conditions. These diseases are associated with the accumulation of mental illness and distress, therefore it is imperative that people are able to identify and report any health problems they may be experiencing. Early detection allows treatment options to be made and help available. Early detection also helps to reduce the burden of chronic diseases on society and economy.
Healthy life expectancy is now an indication of an individual’s health and longevity, and is now included in most health policy plans. Life expectancy is associated with a person’s ability to cope and survive in an environment that is hazardous to health. Higher life expectancy has been associated with lower rates of disability and death. The challenge is to develop policies that improve quality of life for people while allowing sufficient resources to be made available for those who need it most.
Determining the determinants of health is part of the responsibility of each government. Health determinants are societal characteristics that affect health. They include demographics, poverty, health conditions, social support systems, environmental exposures, and motivation. All of these areas have a role to play in healthy people having productive lives and maintaining and improving the health of the population.