WHO definition of Health

WHOdefinition of Health

WHOdefinition of Health

In1946, the WHO’s definition of health was that a good health iscombination of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not justa mere absence of infirmity or disease (World Health Organization,2005). Health defines a resource that characterizes everyday life,and not just a part of everyday living. It gives a positive conceptto emphasize personal and social resources and physical capabilities.It is part of an important developmental component, which is vital toa country’s internal stability and economic growth.

TheWHO definition of health is too idealized. This is because, accordingto World Health Organization, (2005), the definition does not give aclaim that is in between the varied parameters of complete well-beingand an elaborate components range recognized as health. It is alsobecause it gives an identity claim for instance a person may not begenuinely healthy unless he or she has complete well-being. In thisregard, the idealized definition of a complete well-being situationand the health concept are both synonymous.

TheWHO definition of health is too broad. This is because with theinclusion of “complete well-being” in its definition, Wilcock &ampHocking (2015) argues that it is unachievable and unrealisticconsidering it describes a complete state of total wellness, and isunlikely that anyone is able to achieve in a very short period in aperson’s life. Considering its definition focuses also onperfection, its broadness is evident since it again excludes thoseindividuals with disabilities or health conditions.

TheWHO definition of health blurs the responsibilities of otherprofessions. This is because its definition of health shifts focusfrom the actual physical well-being of an individual to theinterrelationship between the physical, human, and socialenvironment. The definition, according to World Health Organization(2005), emphasizes on the multiple layers of health status, social,spiritual, and cultural focus, which in turn blur the work of social,cultural, and spiritual professions in their respectiveorganizations. These professions include counselling, psychology, andspiritual counselling.


Wilcock,A. A. &amp Hocking, C. (2015). AnOccupational Perspective of Health,3rd edition. SLACK Incorporated. ISBN: 978-1-61711-087-0

WorldHealth Organization (2005). WHOdefinition of Health.Geneva: World Health Organization. 83:802 Retrieved fromhttp://www.who.int/bulletin/bulletin_board/83/ustun11051/en/