The World Health Organisation has produced a definition of health which many people use:

‘Health is a status of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity).

Perhaps dividing the concept of health into these different aspects could be considered to be artificial, but it is useful for study purposes. However, it is important that we remember to consider people as whole human beings (this is called the holistic approach).

The holistic approach is also known as PIES (and this might help us remember the four different aspects of health):

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Physical aspects of health:

These aspects concern the physical functioning of the human body: Sufficient food of the right types and proportions, clean drinking water, warmth provided by heating and clothing, having the right amount of sleep and rest and exercise regularly.

Social aspects of health:

These include the ability to form good relationships with other people and ability to maintain these relationships.

Intellectual aspects of health:

These include the ability to think clearly and in an organised way.

Emotional aspects of health:

These include people’s abilities to recognise emotions, such as grief, excitement, fear, joy, etc. and to express these emotions appropriately. It also means being able to cope with stress, worry and sadness when these occur in our lives.

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