The most widely accepted definition of health is that of the World Health Organization Constitution. It states: “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization, 1946). In more recent years, this statement has been amplified to include the ability to lead a “socially and economically productive life”. The WHO definition is not without criticism, mainly that it is too broad. Some argue that health cannot be defined as a state at all, but must be seen as a dynamic process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living. In spite of its limitations, the concept of health as defined by WHO is broad and positive in its implications, in that it sets out a high standard for positive health.
The most solid aspects of wellness that fit firmly in the realm of medicine are the environmental health, nutrition, disease prevention, and public health matters that can be investigated and assist in measuring well-being. Please see our medical disclaimer for cautions about Wikipedia’s limitations.