Health is a condition whereby the body, mind and spirit are in harmony. It is a condition where physical illness and infirmity are not present. Various definitions have also been applied for various purposes over the years.
The modern world has seen a huge change in the determinants of health. Technological determinants such as wealth, affluence, education and other factors no longer apply. Today, health and sickness are connected more with social rather than physical factors. Illness is now linked with lack of self-esteem, poor coping skills, depression, stress, social isolation, low self-confidence and chronic pain. These determinants may not always be easy to identify, but research has shown that some personality traits have a direct impact on health and quality of life.
In most industrialized countries, exposure to hazardous conditions such as air pollution, toxic chemicals, radiation, noise and occupational hazards, increased caloric intake, poor diet, inadequate physical activity, smoking and consumption of alcohol have all contributed to deteriorating health status. Stress and anxiety also play a major role in health conditions. Stress can result from biological and psychological factors as well as from environmental factors. These mental stressors have been linked with a variety of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.
Most people living in developed countries have adapted a healthy diet. However, these diets often fail to meet the dietary requirements and insufficient intake of important vitamins and minerals or consumption of inadequate amounts of essential fatty acids can result in obesity, tooth decay and deficiencies in essential fatty acids, while inadequate consumption of carbohydrates and fiber have also been shown to play a significant role in increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes. Studies have also revealed that poor public health measures, such as lack of access to safe water, sanitation and waste disposal, may contribute to the development of many diseases and life threatening diseases. The result is that many developing countries suffer from a poor public health, often due to lack of adequate healthcare facilities.
Developed nations have provided extensive medical assistance to the poor for many years. However, there are many developing countries that have not been able to provide quality healthcare to their citizens. As a result, there are a large percentage of the developing world suffering from a range of health conditions and human health disorders. The poor health conditions in these countries often result in poor nutritional intake and an increased mortality rate. The decreased life expectancy rate largely attributed to a low level of basic life-affirming health conditions.
The US society has not become concerned about occupational health and safety since the National Industrial Safety and Health Act (NIHHA) was signed into law in 1970. This Act placed limits on employers and provided legal protection to workers from workplace injuries and illnesses. Since this time, the US population has become more concerned about occupational health and safety issues. Surveys have indicated that the number of adults who are concerned with occupational safety and healthy working environments has significantly increased over the past two decades.