Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dilarom Demiralay
Individual human health is usually defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of disease or infirmity (“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or inﬁrmity” ). It was this definition of health that was given in the preamble to the Charter of the World Health Organization (WHO), approved by the parliaments of 26 member countries of this international organization, when it was founded on April 7, 1948 .
And although this definition of health is distinguished by a certain philosophical generalization, along with the lack of detail and specificity, nevertheless, it attracts attention with rational brevity and a relief highlighting of its main idea, the essential basis of the content of this concept – confirmation that human health is multifaceted, but at least three main factors characterize it and certainly participate in its formation – these are physical, mental (mental, spiritual, psychic) and social.
More than a hundred more definitions of the concept of “Human Health” are known – original, capacious, specific, and meaningful, however, either their excessive detailing or accentuation – mainly on the biological, physiological, physical, psychological, or social basis of the phenomenon under consideration – makes such definitions, (without denying their inherent merits), – not always quite suitable for their wide use – both in scientific and methodological, and in educational activities ,
Human health consists of several main components, among which the following seem to be the most significant [1;6]:
1. Somatic component of human health;
2. The physical component of health;
3. Mental (intellectual) component;
4. Spiritual and moral component of health;
5. Psychological and communicative (psychological) component;
6. Sensory component of health;
7. Speech (speech therapy) component;
8. Amorbid (medical and preventive) component of health;
9. Reproductive component of human health.
As for the role and importance of the main factors,
As for the role and significance of the main factors that take part in the formation of health, the long-term studies of the scientific school of public health specialists headed by Academician Yu.P. Lisitsyn allowed them to be distributed as follows [8; 9;10]:
1. A person’s lifestyle – it determines the state of his health by 50-55%;
2. Environmental factors – 20–25% affect human health;
3. Biological factors – 15–20% determine the state of health;
4. Medical factors – 8-10% affect human health.
These conclusions of well-known, authoritative scientists, recognized by WHO experts, are beyond doubt. They are recognized by a wide range of scientists and practitioners and are actively used in research, medical and preventive, health education, popular science, educational and methodological activities. At the same time, these conclusions about the role and significance of the main factors in the formation of health are often cited in the approximate ratio of their impact on health as 50% (1): to 20% (2): to 20% (3): and to 10% (4) [ 11, 12, 13]. Thus, the not so significant influence of medicine on the formation and preservation of a person’s health is emphasized, however, at the same time, the incomparably greater importance for the health of the lifestyle that a person leads himself is highlighted: “If you want to be healthy, be it!” .
All this looks quite reasonable and very convincing, but two circumstances cannot be ignored:
These conclusions come from the pathocentric approach of researchers to health and are based on an analysis of the causes of human morbidity, while a valeocentric approach to determining the significance of factors directly affecting the formation of human health seems to be more preferable;
Respected researchers combine the way of life of a person with the conditions of his life, and these are completely different factors, and such a combination does not seem to be quite correct methodologically.
It seems to us more reasonable, based on the valeocentric approach to the formation of health, to use the structural-logical method to divide the factors influencing human health into 4 equal groups and distribute their relative importance for the formation, strengthening and preservation of health as follows [ 1]:
- Environmental factors: 25% of the impact on the formation of health;
- Biological factors: 25% impact on human health;
- Social factors, including, in particular, both medicine and healthcare organization: 25% of the impact on health;
- Personal factors that determine the motivation for health and a healthy lifestyle and include the orientation of the individual to the formation, strengthening and preservation of health: 25% of the impact on human health.
At the same time, the percentage ratio of the influence of these main factors on the formation of health may vary slightly, depending on specific circumstances, but their overall ratio and mutual influence cannot change significantly. At the same time, from a combination of the 3rd and 4th factors (taking into account the influence of the 1st and 2nd factors of health formation), in each specific case, exactly the lifestyle that this person will lead is built. This happens for the reason that the way of life materializes in specific living conditions, which, as a rule, are decisive for the state of people’s health . But no matter how the conditions of his life and activity influence a person, the presence of his inner desire for an active, effective and productive life, understanding the value of his health and the importance of saving it by following the principles of a healthy lifestyle, these and other personal factors in the formation of health undoubtedly play a leading role.
The creation of personal factors of human health is largely influenced by the pedagogical activity of educational institutions, the educational function of the family, the team, the media, the activities of cultural and art institutions, sports and recreational institutions, as well as the social activities of the person.
It is necessary in every possible way to promote the formation of a truly healthy, active, developing and sober lifestyle among the growing youth, based on high moral and ethical principles, aimed at self-development, self-improvement, self-realization and successful socialization of a person. This should be a way of life that ensures the formation of sufficient psycho-physiological reserves of health, which form the basis of active longevity and create conditions for a joyful and happy, interesting and productive life of a person.
What does the recommendation: “You need to lead a healthy lifestyle” mean? What does the content of this concept – “Healthy lifestyle” include?
In our opinion, based on the analysis of educational and methodological and scientific literature on this issue [2–10; 14–16], as well as on the experience of teaching and educational work with students of the Pedagogical University [12; 13], the content of the concept “Healthy lifestyle” includes the following main components of it:
- Rational labor activity, that is, organized in such a way that it would minimize the impact of risk factors for the occurrence of diseases and would comply with the hygienic standards of working conditions and the regime of its organization, as well as compliance with hygienic recommendations for saving the functionality of sensory systems (organs of vision, hearing) – in working conditions and at home;
- Sufficient, adequate physical activity – both in the process of labor activity and outside it, bearing in mind that no medicine is able to replace the healing (therapeutic and prophylactic) effect of movement [7, p. 49];
- An active attitude to health-improving physical education, general developmental sports, along with hardening and strengthening the body’s defenses;
- Rational nutrition, corresponding in its calorie content to the energy costs of the body and balanced in terms of the amount of food taken, the composition of the diet, the content of food ingredients and their ratio, in accordance with the recommendations on the diet and distribution of the daily diet;
- Responsible attitude to one’s sexual behavior, based on socially accepted principles of morality and morality and aimed at the realization of love, the creation and strengthening of a family, the birth and upbringing of children, and not the search for fleeting adventures, momentary dubious pleasures and other manifestations of frivolity, social al immaturity, hedonism and consumer ego-centrism;
- Responsible attitude to one’s own health: timely seeking medical help when the need arises, as well as a responsible attitude to the recommendations of specialists – on the implementation of methods for examining, treating and preventing various forms of health disorders (rational medical preventive activity);
- Benevolent, attentive and sympathetic attitude towards others, as well as courtesy, decency and other manifestations of anti-stress behavior in the family and in the team; striving for the prevention of conflict situations and for the successful resolution of such a situation, if it occurs;
- Categorical rejection of bad habits and addictions that have a devastating effect on the body and personality of a person: a resolute refusal to smoke tobacco, systematic and excessive use of alcohol, as well as non-medical use of psychoactive substances; categorical prohibition of any form of testing and taking drugs;
- Ability to anticipate and prevent dangerous situations; the ability to competently, correctly and decisively act when they arise.
It is unacceptable to follow a very risky and really dangerous line of behavior aimed at trying everything, doing everything and judging everything on the basis of one’s own experience. It is this circumstance that often serves as the first motive for initiating the use of psychoactive substances, including drugs.
As for the content of the basic concepts related to the way of life of a person, we, in our classes with students, adhere to the following formulation:
WAY OF LIFE – is the usual volume of human life processes and the usual mode of their implementation, which provide a person with the opportunity to freely exercise all his life functions – biological, physical, mental and social;
A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE – is a way of life that best corresponds to the individual characteristics of a person and which contributes to the formation, strengthening and preservation of his health;
STANDARD OF LIFE – is an economic category that reflects the degree of satisfaction of the material, every day and cultural needs of a person; the degree of satisfaction of the needs of the population, its individual strata and social groups;
QUALITY OF LIFE – is a socio-economic category that reflects the degree of “comfort” of a person’s existence, his well-being – in a family, in a team, in society, in the state; this also applies to determining the quality of life of individual strata of the population, its social groups and society as a whole;
STANDARD OF LIFE – a socio-economic category that reflects the degree to which the state satisfies the socially necessary needs of a person (the needs of the population, its individual strata, social groups);
LIFE STYLE – a personal category of a socio-psychological nature, reflecting the orientation of the individual to satisfy his most diverse interests, hobbies, aspirations, hobbies, which are organically woven into the content of the lifestyle and can make it more saturated, contributing to self-actualization, self-development and self-realization personality;
WAY OF LIFE – a social category of an ethnological nature, which includes norms and rules developed historically and proven to have certain advantages, norms and rules for the implementation of various manifestations of human social behavior in society, prescribing certain forms of such behavior in specific social conditions .
The above provisions are used in the training courses “Valeology”, “Fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle” and “Fundamentals of medical knowledge” for my students.
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