A very common phrase named Health is Wealth, but people still do not know the exact meaning of it. People frequently mix up healthy life with just being free from illnesses. While this might be correct in some cases, it is not the entire picture of good health. For example, if you eat junk food all the time and do not have healthy habits but don’t have any diseases that means you’re not healthy. Nowadays, issues related to health are very important because it affects almost everyone individual, irrespective of any class, caste, gender, religion, social class, or any other factor affecting it. This could be either physical or emotional.
It is also described as an overall state of physical, mental, and social well-being. Health could be considered a social behaviour. It is greatly influenced by societal aspects that affect general human actions, such as stress, anxiety and lack of satisfaction, or insufficiency in a certain aspect that is required for an individual to stay fit and healthy.
Can Health be viewed as a societal issue?
It is seen that sick people who have health-related behaviours are connected to social factors. According to one study, the guidelines and policies used within medical institutions are based on societal circumstances, are established by human groups, and are also specified for use in humans.
Sociology is the study of individual and societal issues. There are a variety of social factors that contribute to health patterns, how health problems arise, and how they can be addressed through mental guidance that as counselling and behaviour patterns. Some health issues may be perceived as requiring medical help, whereas others, such as mental disorders or other mental difficulties, such as depression, are simply considered taboo in our society and are left without any medical intervention. Also, health conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases which are HIV and AIDS, are linked to social stigma. It impacts individuals when they are not able to fulfil their responsibilities and their daily activities, work, and career.
EXAMPLE- Poverty- This is due to the fact that hunger is a big contributor to illness or negative health outcomes in individuals. Poor people are vulnerable to such health problems due to their inability to achieve a properly balanced diet with nutrients and their inability to visit health care centres. As it causes a great deal of pain and disease. It may also result in premature deaths. Individual health is influenced by a variety of social factors, including the presence of inequalities in society, which is why sociologists are interested in this topic. Health care and its delivery systems are considered social systems. This is due to the fact that they deal with issues that affect people’s health, particularly those that are social in nature. In most parts of the world, illness is regarded as a burden to society since it does not contribute to positive progress but rather people use the country’s economic assets in order to improve their status, which can never be achieved. This makes it a sociological issue, rather than leaving the aspects to the individual.
Why Health is called Wealth?
• Health is a profitable investment:
In many ways, well-being and health are interconnected. However, one fact is that good health promotes wealth. A healthy individual will be more energetic, intelligent, and efficient, allowing them to earn more money, which can then be used to create more wealth. People who have poor health frequently die at a young age. They have spent all of their time accumulating wealth while ignoring health.
• Healthy Population Supports a Healthy Economy:
Healthy Population Supports a Healthy Economy: For example, if an organization’s employees are sick or injured, the organization’s profits will suffer because they will be unable to give their full effort, affecting revenue generation. According to a WHO study, approximately 47% of the working population in urban areas in industrial sectors is overweight. About 27% of individuals have hypertension, and 10% of the workforce are diabetic. Workers are more likely to develop diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease, brain haemorrhage, and cancer, according to the study.
• Better opportunities in life:
Good health increases our body’s capacity, which leads to more possibilities to earn more and helps in increasing your living standard. Individuals become better people not only physically but also mentally. Personal happiness and financial security are strongly linked to one another. A healthy mindset promotes positive values such as work and effort, the ability to share, compassion, self-control, and other preferable traits. Unhealthy living is a cause of unhappiness.
• Creative mind:
It is true in every way – intelligence, creativity, mental presence, sense of humour, humbleness, demonstration, interaction, and other mental aspects are all dependent on good health. Positive vibes are created by an active body, a balanced diet, meditation, and prayer, which stimulate and rejuvenate our brains. It improves brain performance in all aspects of life, allowing one to produce significant accomplishments and motivating another individual to do so.
• Prevention of Bad Habits:
Among those who live a healthy lifestyle, alcohol addiction, cigarettes, drug addiction, and other violent tendencies are reduced or eliminated. Selfishness, envy, hatefulness, revenge, and other negative feelings are heightened when one is ‘Money Minded.’ For such people, it’s simply about gaining what they want, by any necessary means. Their thoughts are corrupted and focused on accumulating a large amount of wealth. To relax, some people start consuming alcohol, using drugs, and engaging in deviant behaviours. However, the repercussions of such actions are always harmful, even to people who are not primarily connected to the abuser.
A person asked a question to Dalai Lama what he has to say about humanity. and he answered: “Man! Because he puts his health first in order to make money. In order to gain health, he sacrifices financially. And that individual always worries about the future and does not enjoy what he has right now in present. This indicates that people do not recognize their mental health in order to earn money. Some even work around the clock, 7 days a week. So, on a daily basis, you have to keep a healthy relationship between work and health and wellness. Always strive to maintain a happy and positive as well as a focused routine. It is essential to prepare in advance. The desire to live in the present time and make the best of it urges the desirable power inside you, and you’re the only person who can prevent yourself from falling apart. Many diseases have their origins in social drivers and lifestyle habits, people with healthy habits lead a healthy life, and unhealthy lifestyles are a major contributor to illnesses and diseases.
• Morrall, P, Sociology, and health: an introduction, 2nd Ed, New York, Taylor & Francis, 2009. • Health is Wealth Essay for Students in English (vedantu.com)
• World Health Day | National Health Portal Of India (nhp.gov.in)
• Mental Health and why we should no longer ignore it – mybreev International