Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person‘s mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”). The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Although this definition has been subject to controversy, in particular as having a lack of operational value and the problem created by use of the word “complete”, it remains the most enduring. Classification systems such as the WHO Family of International Classifications, including the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), are commonly used to define and measure the components of health.
The maintenance and promotion of health is achieved through different combination of physical, mental, and social well-being, together sometimes referred to as the “health triangle”. The WHO’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion furthered that health is not just a state, but also “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.”
Systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans are delivered by health care providers. Applications with regard to animal health are covered by the veterinary sciences. The term “healthy” is also widely used in the context of many types of non-living organizations and their impacts for the benefit of humans, such as in the sense of healthy communities, healthy cities or healthy environments. In addition to health care interventions and a person’s surroundings, a number of other factors are known to influence the health status of individuals, including their background, lifestyle, and economic and social conditions; these are referred to as “determinants of health”.