Defining Health

  • Kate ChatfieldEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)


Unless we have a shared understanding of what health means, and what health looks like, we cannot agree upon what is needed to achieve it. However, the most commonly cited definition, that of the World Health Organization, has been subjected to a barrage of criticism because it is allegedly outdated and impossible to operationalise. More recent interpretations are aligned with concepts such as adaption, resilience and salutogenesis. As possibly the healthiest people in the world, the people of Okinawa in Japan have much to teach us about the qualities that are essential for health and wellbeing. Through examination of these illuminating topics, the meaning of health is described.


Health Definition World Health Organization Adaption Resilience Salutogenesis Longevity Okinawana 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Professional EthicsUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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