Health, in human beings, is the level of any persons continuing physical, emotional, mental, and social capacity to cope with his natural environment.
Such a definition, just one of many, has it's disadvantages.
The somewhat frail person who keeps "well" within the accustomed surroundings of his or her being, could possibly capitulate to a
heart attack from shoveling heavy snow after a blizzard.
A person who normally lives at sea level,may perhaps relocate to a new family home in the mountains, where the environment has a lower content of oxygen.
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He may consequently suffer from shortness of breath and possibly anemia until his red blood cell count adjusts itself to the altitude.
So even by this definition,the understanding of good health must entail some concession for change in the environment.
Bad health can be defined as the presence of disease, and good health as it's absence.
A person who has not had a disease for a continued period of time, but then had sudden attack of seasickness, may not be considered as losing his good health as a result of such a misfortune.
The same might apply to an expectant mother, completely healthy in the afternoons and evenings, but afflicted from morning sickness a few hours each day.
Physical condition and wellbeing are not synonymous terms.
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A three hundred and twenty pound American pro football player, may be in a tremendous physical condition(although outside the range of normality for weight) but may or may not be in excellent health-depending for illustration, whether or not he has fallen victim to a bout of influenza.
There are additional problems in settling upon a definition of human health.
An individual may be physically powerful,resilient to infection,endowed to deal with physical hardship and other features of his physical environment.
Yet,he may still be regarded as unhealthy if his mental state,as judged by his demeanor,is deemed unsound.
What is mental health?
Many will say that a person is mentally healthy if he is capable of functioning relatively well.
On the other hand,others may argue that a person is healthy mentally, if his behavior is like that of a majority of his peers.
There is a third group of physicians,who makes comparisons with an ideal.
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According to these physicians, mental healthfulness may possibly be approached, but not attained.
Another theory stresses the changes in an individuals behavior, that take place with the passage of time as criteria of his mental health.
In light of this confusion, it is perhaps, most useful, to define health, good or bad, in terms that can be measured and interpreted, with respect to the ability of the individual.
When a person is given a health examination, the examination is likely to include a series of tests.
Several of these tests are more descriptive than quantitative, and can pinpoint the presence of disease in a seemingly healthy person.
Such tests include the electrocardiogram, to detect some kinds of heart disease;electromyogram for primary muscle disorders;liver and gall bladder function tests;and many types of xray techniques for determining disease or malfunction of the internal organs.
Other tests give numerical results(or results that can be assigned numerical values-such as photometric color determinations)that can be interpreted by the examiner.
These are physical and chemical tests, including blood, urine,and cerebral spinal fluid analyses.
The results of the tests are compared with the normal values,and the physician receives clues as to the health of his patient.
If the values are abnormal, the physician seeks methods of improving the patient's health.
There are other values that have ranges so narrow that they are termed physiological constants.
A persons body temperature, for instance, rarely varies(when taken at the same anatomical site)by more than a degree(from time of waking up until bedtime)without being indicative of infection or illness.