HEALTH is the level of functional and/or metabolic efficiency of an organism at both the micro(cellular) and macro(social) level. In the medical field, health is commonly defined as an organism's ability to efficiently respond to challenges (stressors) and effectively restore and sustain a "state of balance", known as homeostasis.

Another widely accepted definition of health is that of the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that "health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". In more recent years, this statement has been modified to include the ability to lead a "socially and economically productive life." The WHO definition is not without criticism, as some argue that health cannot be defined as a state at all, but must be seen as a process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living and of the changing meanings we give to life. The WHO definition is therefore considered by many as an idealistic goal rather than a realistic proposition.


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) | LaLonde report | COVID-19 | PHYSICAL EXERCISE | MENTAL HEALTH


ECDC, an EU agency, aimed at strengthening Europe's defences against infectious diseases. The core functions cover a wide spectrum of activities: surveillance, epidemic intelligence, response, scientific advice, microbiology, preparedness, public health training, international relations, health communication, and the scientific journal Eurosurveillance. In 2019, ECDC continues to contribute to health security, giving particular attention to the following areas: Tackle antimicrobial resistance Improve vaccine coverage in the EU Support the European Commission and the Member States in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals in the area of HIV, TB and hepatitis Further support the European Commission and the Member States in strengthening the preparedness for cross-border health threats Focus on strategic partnerships to create synergy and avoid duplication of work Further enhance ECDC’s operational performance and monitoring.


The LaLonde report (*) suggested that there are four general determinants of health which he called "human biology", "environment", "lifestyle", and "healthcare organization" Thus, health is maintained through the science and practice of medicine, but can also be improved by individual effort. Physical fitness, weight loss, a healthy diet, stress management training and stopping smoking and other substance abuse are examples of steps to improve one's health. Workplace programs are recognized by an increasingly large number of companies for their value in improving health and well-being of their employees, and increasing morale, loyalty and productivity at work. A company may provide a gym with exercise equipment, start smoking cessation programs, provide nutrition, weight or stress management training. Other programs may include health risk assessments, health screenings and body mass index monitoring.

(*) Report produced in 1974 in Canada and formally titled A new perspective on the health of Canadians. It proposed the concept of the "health field", identifying two main health-related objectives: the health care system; and prevention of health problems and promotion of good health. The report is considered the "first modern government document in the Western world to acknowledge that our emphasis upon a biomedical health care system is wrong, and that we need to look beyond the traditional health care (sick care) system if we wish to improve the health of the public)

An increasing measure of the health of populations is height, which is strongly regulated by nutrition and health care, among other standard of living and quality of life matters.
The study of human growth, its regulators and its implications is known as auxology. Wellness is a term sometimes used to describe the psychological state of being healthy, but is most often used in the field of alternative medicine to describe one's state of being.


CEPS Chronicle-of-a-pandemic-foretold: In just a few weeks, COVID-19 appeared in China and quickly spread to the rest of the world, including Europe and the United States. Many have rushed to describe the outbreak as a ‘black swan’ – an unpredictable event with extremely severe consequences. However, COVID-19 was not only predictable ex post: it was amply predicted ex ante. This allows us to draw some preliminary lessons:
  • First, economic policy will need to shift from its current focus on efficiency, towards a greater emphasis on resilience and sustainability.
  • Second, a more centralised governance to address health emergencies is needed.
  • Third, Europe should create a centre for the prevention of large-scale risks.
  • Fourth, digital technologies, if handled with care, can be an important part of both a mitigation and a response strategy.
  • Fifth, Europe should improve its science advice and communication functions.

Finally, there are many ways to pursue enhanced resilience and responsiveness, but not all of them are compatible with sustainability and democratic values. The challenge is to find an adequate policy mix, which safeguards individual rights and liberties, protects the economy, and at the same time strengthens government preparedness for cases of epidemics and pandemics.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was discovered in Nov/Dec 2019. It is a new strain not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans, COVID-19 presumably by horseshoe bats via a host animal or by biochemistry. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.


Physical exercise is the performance of some activity in order to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health. It is often directed toward also honing athletic ability or skill. Frequent and regular physical exercise is an important component in the prevention of some of the diseases of affluence such as cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and back pain.

Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:

  • Flexibility exercises such as stretching improve the range of motion of muscles and joints.

  • Aerobic exercises such as walking and running focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance.

  • Anaerobic exercises such as weight training or sprinting increase short-term muscle strength.

Physical exercise is considered important for maintaining physical fitness including healthy weight; building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks; and strengthening the immune system.

Proper nutrition is just as, if not more, important to health as exercise. When exercising it becomes even more important to have good diet to ensure the body has the correct ratio of macronutrients whilst providing ample micronutrients; this is to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise. When the body falls short of proper nutrition, it gets into starvation mode developed through evolution and depends onto fat content for survival. Research suggest that the production of thyroid hormones can be negatively affected by repeated bouts of dieting and calorie restriction. Proper rest and recovery is also as important to health as exercise, otherwise the body exists in a permanently injured state and will not improve or adapt adequately to the exercise.

The above two factors can be compromised by psychological compulsions (eating disorders such as exercise bulimia, anorexia, and other bulimias), misinformation, a lack of organization, or a lack of motivation. These all lead to a decreased state of health.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can occur after any exercise, particularly if the body is in an unconditioned state relative to that exercise. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" and having the ability to lead a "socially and economically productive life.


The European Union launced European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing in order to enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while ageing, to improve the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems and to boost and improve the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.

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Health pyramid. The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption.
Nutrition is a science which studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Dietitians are Health professionals who are specialized in this area of expertise. They are also
the only highly trained health professionals able to provide safe, evidence-based and accurate dietary advice and interventions.

Between extremes of optimal health and death
from starvation or malnutrition, there is an array of disease states that can be caused or alleviated by changes in diet. Deficiencies, excesses and
imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to diseases such as scurvy, obesity or osteoporosis, as well as psychological and behavioral problems
. Moreover, excessive ingestion of elements that have no apparent role in health, (e.g. lead, mercury, PCBs, dioxins), may incur toxic
and potentially lethal effects, depending on the

The science of nutrition attempts to understand
how and why specific dietary aspects influence health.

EU4Health programme 2021-2027 – a vision for a healthier European Union    


Mental health is a concept that refers to a human individual's emotional and psychological well-being. Merriam-Webster defines mental health as "A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no one "official" definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined. In general, most experts agree that "mental health" and "mental illness" are not opposites. In other words, the absence of a recognized mental disorder is not necessarily an indicator of mental health.

One way to think about mental health is by looking at how effectively and successfully a person functions. Feeling capable and competent; being able to handle normal levels of stress, maintain satisfying relationships, and lead an independent life; and being able to "bounce back," or recover from difficult situations, are all signs of mental health. Encompassing your emotional, social, and—most importantly—your mental well-being; All these aspects—emotional, physical, and social—must function together to achieve overall health.