During my initial research for creating a Health Blog that would focus not only on that of General Health, Fitness & Well-being, I wanted to go back and look into where the concept of Living Healthy all began. This lead me to many articles on the subject and has taught me many things I either wasn't aware of or didn't care much about.
In fact, it actually took me getting old and experiencing a plethora of Old Age signs and symptoms and reaching the age of 50 to finally realize that "!most!" of my Life is gone and it's just high Time that I begin to live a more Healthy Lifestyle by Eating Healthier, Losing Weight and giving into the much-needed concept of physically Exercising.
Actually, I have never really given into the Dieting concept, as I believe it is more of a Lifestyle Change than a Quick Fix. Most Diets, even Healthy Diets, are great for temporarily gaining control of your Eating Habits, but they are IMO only a Starting Point and not a "true" change.
In all actuality, there's really no way to count on my fingers and toes how many times a diet has been initiated; I was always starving, wanting to Splurge all the time, which eventually returned me to my original Bad Eating Habits. As with the many years of trying to quit my use of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco, you cannot think of "Quitting for a Little While," as that would only be a "Break." You must say, "I don't do this anymore(!period!)"
For me, exercising and dieting is about the same with similar ending results. Let's face it, if you want to be healthy and prolong your Life on Earth, you'll Change the Way you Think about Living!
Not only do we need to eat healthier and exercise to live longer, but we must also maintain good healthy practices in order to feel good, or at least better. Healthier Social Trends such as diet, fitness and Weight Control are a "must" in order to avoid Age-related Diseases and assist in Disease Management, but we must also think of it as a Life Change rather than the aforementioned Quick Fix.
The term Health is an broad and vague umbrella term and so generalized as to make defining it in detail a challenge. The actual definition of health has evolved over time from the early definitions of health which focused primarily on the theme of the body's ability to Function, Associations to Illness, Disease, Mental Functions and promoting Physical Activities (PDF) to prevent or cure Health Problems and promote good overall Metabolic Efficiency (e.g. Energy, Metabolism, Nutrition, etc).
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as several others, have had a tremendous impact on how we think about health and the relationships between Mental, Metabolic and Physical Care of the Human Body and remains concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on Population Health analysis.
Health Science is the branch of Science focused on health, how Humans and Animals function to prevent and cure disease, focusing on physical and mental impairments and builds on many sub-fields, including Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Epidemiology, Pharmacology and Medical Sociology. It all revolves around Public Health.
Population Health has been defined as "the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group," and from a population health perspective, health has been defined not simply as a state free from disease but as "the capacity of people to adapt to, respond to, or control life's challenges and changes."
Public health has many sub-fields; typically including the interdisciplinary categories of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Services. Environmental Health, Community Health, Behavioral Health, and Occupational Health dealing with Occupational Diseases are also very important areas, along with Self-care Strategies.
The first four basic disciplines generally contribute to the field of environmental health: Environmental Epidemiology, Toxicology, Animal Studies (Critical) and Exposure Science. Although Population health doesn't cover animal (OIE) or plant health (APHA/APHIS), specialized research on human health (NCA/USGS) has grown immensely too, separating findings for individual groups such as Animal Health, Men's Health, Women's Health, Youth Health and that of Elderly Care.
Public Health refers to "the science and art of Preventing Disease, Prolonging Life (Outline/Topics) and Promoting Human Health through Organized Efforts and Informed Choices of Society, Organizations, Public and Private, communities and individuals" with a focus on intervention to improve health and Quality of Life (HRQoL) through Prevention and Treatment of disease and other physical and mental health conditions, and the dimensions can encompass "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
This is typically accomplished through surveillance (Disease/Medical/Workplace)of cases and health indicators (EnvHCQ/SDOH) and promotion of Healthy Education (K-12/PSHE) & Behaviors such as the promotion of Personal Hygiene (More/Products), Hand Washing, Breastfeeding, delivery of Vaccinations, and distribution of Condoms to control the Spread of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and Disease (STD).
Modern public health practice requires Multidisciplinary Teams (Approach/M&I)of public health workers (CHW) and professionals including Physicians (AAPHP/MMSPH/DGH/D.H.S./US/MedEduUS)specializing in public health, Community Medicine, Infectious Disease, Psychologists (Topics), Epidemiologists, Biostatisticians, medical assistants or Assistant Medical Officers (CGO/EHO), Public Health Nurses, Midwives (obstetrics), Medical Microbiologists (CP), Environmental Health Officers, Public Health Inspectors, Pharmacists, Dentists, Dietitians, Nutritionists (Sports), Veterinarian (physician), Public Health Engineers, Public Health Lawyers (HL/ML), Sociologists, Community Development Workers (Service), Communications Experts (Prof), Bioethicists, and others.
Environmental Health is the branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and Built Environment that may affect human health and immensely related to Environmental Protection, which is primarily concerned with protecting the Natural Environment for the benefit of human health and the Ecosystem.
Environmental health was also defined in a 1999 document by the World Health Organization (WHO) as, "Those aspects of the human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment and refers to the theory and practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially and affect health," addressing all human-health-related aspects of the natural environment and the built environment.
Some environmental health concerns include Air quality (outdoor [AQI] [CAA-US] [EPA] [Law] [US]/Indoor Air Quality & Environmental Tobacco Smoke), Climate Change [GW] [OD], Disaster Preparedness/Response [EM] [EPR] [WSEP], Food Safety (Agriculture [FD] [FSIS] [GAP] [IFSN], Transportation, Food Processing, Wholesale/Retail Distribution [DB] & sale) and that of Hazardous Materials.
These would include the management, proper handling and disposal of Hazardous Waste, leaks from Underground Storage Tanks, Waste Water, Septic Tanks, Chemical Toilets, Solid Waste, Landfills [US], Recycling, Composting, Medical Waste and Toxic chemical exposure in Consumer Products, Housing, Workplaces; Air, Water, Soil and in Drinking Water.
Other concerns include Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene, Noise Pollution, Lead Poisoning prevention in children, Housing (Standard [NHHS] [S8], Jail & Prison), Land Use Planning (Smart Growth [SGA]), Radiological Health, including exposure to Ionizing Radiation from X-rays or Radioactive Isotopes
Community health, although broadly defined, is a distinct field of study within the Medical [BioMed] [SMST] & Clinical Sciences focusing on population health groups and Communities as opposed to individual Patients, typically taught within a separate school of public health or environmental health, specializing in disciplines which concerns itself with the study and improvement of the health characteristics of Biological Communities.
It may also be studies within three broad categories (e.g. Primary Healthcare, Secondary Healthcare, Tertiary Healthcare & public health). "Access to health care varies across countries, groups, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations.
Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies." [Wiki]
Behavioral health, as a combined concept of two terms ("behavioral" & "health"), generally refers to the Reciprocal Relationship between Human Behavior, individually or socially, and the Well-being of the Body, Mind, and Spirit but is more commonly used to describe a Field of Scientific Study, Academic Proficiency and Clinical Healthcare Practice concerned with the development and integration of behavioral and Biomedical Science, Knowledge, health with stressing of individual responsibility in the prevention of Illness.
Self-care within one's own Community and that of Society as a whole is also just as important as public heath care...if not more important. Individuals "must" personally be responsible for maintaining a good, Healthy Lifestyle. It all goes back to the You Can Lead a Horse to Water theory. Meaning, no matter what scientific evidence is found to make you live healthier, in reality, it is up to you as an individual to adhere to the principles behind the findings. No one can make You live healthy other than You!
Quite a lot of research has gone into self-care, as well as the more technical medical findings throughout history, and there are many online resources for Information on Health. From various Health, Medical and Prescription Drug blogs to the more official Health Care Organizations, nowadays one can look up most anything with a simple Google Search.
Personally, my plans are to provide readers with as much information on health as humanly possible, from healthy eating and physical exercise to recommendations and warning regarding food and our environment. It is my belief that the Time has come that we all pull together and begin respecting our bodies, minds and the environment we live in as well.
That said, as I'm out of time at the moment for adding more to this article, so expect it to be revised eventually...