Health is generally perceived as a state of physical and / or mental well-being. Health has a subjective side with experience, and on the other hand it also appears objectively to the absence of disease in the absence of a medical diagnosis.
Health is a complex concept in terms of culture and history. Depending on the scientific discipline, it is understood differently, and the subjective concept of health of each individual also varies strongly, e.g. Depending on age, gender, education and cultural background. A holistic notion of health is a modern concept of health, according to the bio-medical model. Health can refer to the individual human being, and be understood as a state of physical as well as mental well-being, or of physical and mental function and capacity. Health can also be conceived as a contrast to disease, and then describes the desirable “normal” condition as the absence of disease. Health can also affect a collective, e.g. The population, and then describes the extent of a low disease burden in a population.
For a comprehensive determination of health and disease, the following aspects are significant according to the salutogenetic approach of Aaron Antonovsky:
Health and disease are observational-dependent constructs, whereby the observation of health and disease by social systems such as medicine or science can differ from observation by the individual (objectivizing versus subjective perception).
The observation of health and illness is carried out exclusively on the basis of physical, psychological and social symptoms.
Health and disease are therefore not empirically perceptible; They correspond to concepts with which the symptoms are explained.
Health is the correct execution of all the physical and psychological functions of a living being.
One can distinguish between physical and mental health and illness.
Positioning on the continuum of health and disease is primarily determined by the presence or absence of physical and mental illnesses.
The occurrence of these diseases is influenced, among other things, by risk factors (stressors) which increase the likelihood of diseases and injuries, and protective factors which limit the effect of the risk factors.
The risk and protection factors can be divided into physical, psychological, social and physical-material factors.
By combating the risk factors and promoting the protection factors, the chance for the occurrence of new diseases is reduced and the positioning on the continuum is improved or maintained.
If the well-being of the individual improves as a result of the reduction of risk factors and the promotion of protective factors, his positioning on the continuum can shift towards health.