Understanding Health and Wellness Promotions

Understanding Health and Wellness Promotions

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.’ A number of definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. In many ways, we tend to measure health in terms of what we call its physical aspects; however, it is a state of well being which includes aspects such as: psychological well being, the quality of one’s relationships, spiritual beliefs, personal values, ability to enjoy life, and one’s ability to deal with challenges in life.

Socio-psychological characteristics are the components of a person’s psychology that affect their ability to meet their needs and achieve their potential. These components include self-esteem, sociability, and the ability to make good decisions. These are considered to be the structural determinants of well-being, since they affect the capacity to obtain resources (food, shelter, and health) as well as the opportunities to enjoy life. The presence of these structural determinants determines the quality of health, with higher levels of well-being linked to favorable psychosocial characteristics.

Gender identity, race, ethnicity, and place of birth have also been determined to be important determinants of health. These factors have been linked to social categories such as race, ethnicity, or place of birth and health outcomes such as life expectancy and obesity. Socio-psychological factors such as these can be influenced by public policies and attitudes towards health, which have been shown to vary by country, culture, and society.

The role of social determinants of health is more complex than it was previously understood. Public policies have a direct impact on health behaviors, which can result in increased or decreased access to quality health care and greater or lower health awareness and prevention of diseases. Different types of policies may result in different types of behavior, with some examples being mandatory screenings for school-age children, mandated educational activities, or restrictions on the purchase of tobacco products. Health care costs have also risen as a result of these policies, with some programs requiring the purchase of insurance. In this article, we discuss current understanding of social determinants of health care outcomes.

One of the primary drivers of health behaviors is education, which is most commonly used as a platform to promote health information and to encourage people to participate in preventative measures. It has also been proposed that exposure to unhealthy television programming and messages, or unhealthy advertising, has a negative impact on health behaviors. While some studies have looked at the impact of media violence on people’s health behaviors, the majority of these studies have focused on the negative aspects of these types of media and the ways in which they may contribute to the development of cardiovascular and heart disease. There is also increasing evidence that negative messages and images may lead to an increase in substance abuse and other negative health behaviors.

Most people are aware that environmental factors can be powerful influences on health and wellness. This includes changes in neighborhood or community environment, exposure to harsh environmental conditions such as pollution, natural disasters, or others, or changes in lifestyle and diet (e.g., junk food, smoking, lack of physical activity, lack of social interaction). These environmental factors seem to play an important role in contributing to some forms of disease. The potential association between lifestyle choices and disease is also now being explored. These types of studies are currently underway and should yield new knowledge concerning the role that diet, exercise, genetics, stress, and other potentially modifiable environmental factors have in contributing to or resulting in disease.