In contrast to disease, which is often easily defined and recognizable, health is less clearly understood and has a much wider range of causes. Diseases can range from simple rash to anaphylactic shock and death. The differences between disease and health are immense and are often impossible to describe. This article will explore the different facets of health. To begin, let’s examine the biomedical and social aspects of health. Next, we’ll discuss the environment’s role in our health.
Social determinants of health
The social determinants of health are factors that contribute to health and can be much more influential than the physical and behavioral aspects of health. Many studies show that social determinants of health account for 30-50% of the variance in health outcomes, with sectors outside the health system contributing much more than the health sector itself. Thus, addressing social determinants of health is essential for improving health outcomes and reducing longstanding inequities. Addressing these factors requires action by all sectors.
Biomedical aspects of health
The biomedical model of health has many philosophical commitments. Among these are the assumption that disease and health are defined in terms of physical entities, biochemical processes, and experimental techniques, and that human bodies are composed of subsidiary parts and processes. In recent decades, this model has undergone a number of evolutions. Some philosophers dispute the meaning of health and disease and the value of reductionist thinking and global institutions. Others disagree and argue for more holistic approaches to the study of human health and disease.
Psychosocial aspects of health
The concept of psychosocial factors describes the way in which an individual’s social and psychological circumstances impact their health. They include psychological resources such as social support, marriage status, and sense of belonging, as well as central psychological resources such as self-esteem and coping abilities. These factors also include psychosocial risk factors, such as hostility, vital exhaustion, and hopelessness. The three books in this series are designed to help students gain an understanding of the relationship between physical and mental health.
Influences of the environment on health
While the reduction of disease burdens has been a primary goal of environmental health professionals, a warmer climate may exacerbate threats to human health. For example, disease-carrying mosquitoes may now be able to thrive in areas that were once too cold to support them. As temperatures rise, more people will become susceptible to vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Rising sea levels could also lead to catastrophic flooding, displacing millions of people in already overcrowded areas.
Workplace wellness programs
A comprehensive wellness program for your workplace can make a dramatic impact on your employees’ health. Employees who participate in wellness programs are more likely to eat healthier foods, use seat belts, and control stress. Many of these programs also reduce the incidence of depression and improve employee life satisfaction. A recent review of workplace wellness programs by the American Heart Association shows that these programs help to contain the epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases that are the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality.
Managing multiple diseases as the norm for older Americans
Managing multiple diseases as the norm for older adults is an increasingly important and complex issue. More people are living with multiple diseases and disabilities, and the burden on health care systems is mounting. The National Quality Forum has defined multiple chronic conditions as conditions whose management requires extensive decision-making and healthcare coordination. Despite the challenges, this topic offers solutions to maximize the effectiveness of care for patients. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make effective care available to all patients.