Health & Social Care: Unit 3 AO1

Authors Avatar

Unit 3 AO1

The terms “health” and “well-being” can have many different meanings, depending on the individual or model. There are professional definitions, like those of doctors and other health professionals; which generally give a more scientific view than others, and there are the definitions of the general public; known as lay definitions or models, a popular lay model with the general public majority being Stainton Rodgers 1997, which includes lay models such as viewing the body as a machine, simply something to be maintained and fixed when broken. These many definitions help people to see the broader sense of health & well-being, that it is not simply just ‘not being ill’.

Health is split into six different aspects or categories;

  • Physical - this is much like the medical model of health, regarding the physical ability of the body
  • Emotional - regarding recognising & expressing emotions appropriately
  • Mental - Greatly linked to emotional health, the ability to think clearly & coherently
  • Social - the ability to build & maintain relationships
  • Spiritual- relating to personal creeds, such as religious beliefs
  • Environmental health – concerns the effects of our surroundings, whether it be discrimination or pollution

Each aspect is not to be seen as another individual view or definition of health, but as part of health as a whole. All of the aspects must be looked after and maintained to be truly healthy.

Definitions of health can be of a positive or a negative nature. To define health as simply the absence of illness or disease is a negative view. As it suggests health is not that appreciated until it is lost. Simply defining someone as unhealthy, for having something as insignificant as a cold, would be inaccurate; as everyone is at least a little bit ill from time to time, regardless of their overall health.

When the World Health Organisation (WHO) was set up in 1948, they defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. However, this definition suggests that health is idealistic and that it remains constant throughout a person’s lifetime.

After such criticisms were made about the WHO’s original definition, they redefined it in 1984. Changing it to: “the extent to which an individual or group is able on the one hand, to realise aspirations and satisfy needs, and on the other hand, to change or cope with the environment. Health is therefore seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living; it is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities”.

Join now!

Well-being is, as this web definition says, “a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity;” it is defined as being positive, in good health or condition, it is best summed up as the quality of life that someone has.

(Ref: class notes, Wikipedia,

There are many different factors that can affect a person’s health in different ways; some factors are within a person’s control, for example, recreational activities, whilst others are out of their control, such as genetic diseases. The main factors are considered to be:

  • Attitudes ...

This is a preview of the whole essay

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


Star rating 4 This assignment covers AO1 of Unit 3