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Health - Scientific American - The Facts

Level of practical or metabolic efficiency of a living being Health is a state of physical, psychological and social wellness in which disease and infirmity are missing.

The meaning of health has actually evolved over time. In keeping with the biomedical perspective, early meanings of health concentrated on the theme of the body's ability to operate; health was viewed as a state of regular function that might be interrupted from time to time by disease. An example of such a definition of health is: "a state characterized by structural, physiologic, and mental stability; capability to carry out personally valued family, work, and neighborhood functions; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social tension". Then in 1948, in an extreme departure from previous definitions, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a definition that aimed higher: connecting health to wellness, in regards to "physical, psychological, and social well-being, and not simply the absence of illness and infirmity".

For a long period of time, it was reserved as an impractical perfect and most conversations of health returned to the practicality of the biomedical model. Simply as there was a shift from seeing illness as a state to thinking of it as a procedure, the same shift took place in meanings of health. Again, the WHO played a leading function when it cultivated the advancement of the health promotion movement in the 1980s. This generated a new conception of health, not as a state, but in dynamic terms of resiliency, in other words, as "a resource for living". In 1984 WHO revised the meaning of health defined it as "the level to which a private or group has the ability to recognize aspirations and please requirements and to change or cope with the environment.