Refer a Friend and you both get a €3 gift voucher see here

World Health Day 2024: What does it mean to be healthy?

by Maria Kirmanidou, Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist

16 May 2024 • 0 min read

The 7th of April has been designated as World Health Day, a day that marks the launch of the World Health Organization (WHO), which marks 76 years of operation this year. For 2024, WHO has chosen to commemorate this day with the "My Health, My Right" campaign to raise awareness of the need for more and more of us to motivate ourselves to take care of ourselves and to recognize that our health is the most precious thing we have. As 'cliché' as it may sound, our health cannot be taken for granted, especially during this difficult period of socio-political crisis. Consider that almost 4.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic health care services!

It is almost certain that if we were all asked "what is health?", most of us would answer or at least spontaneously think "being physically healthy, not being sick". The concept of health is ultimately translated - in the majority of people in today's society - to the absence of disease. However, the World Health Organization gives a very nice definition, communicating that "health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease", a definition with which Holland & Barrett could not agree more. So let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

  • "Does the fact that I am not sick automatically mean that I am healthy?"
  • "When I think of health, do I associate it only with my body and not with my mental state and social life?"

Physical health is far from achieving wellness and it is up to us to bridge the gap and identify the aspects of wellness that need care in order to improve our quality of life. In line with Holland & Barrett's philosophy and 153 years of undisputed experience, wellness in our lives has many more dimensions than those we can think of, some of which are as follows:

  • Physical Wellness
  • Mental Wellness
  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Sexual Wellness
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Intellectual Wellbeing
  • Professional Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing

A person, can be considered that he/she is in absolute health, when he/she takes care of his/her body and soul, which he/she makes sure are in perfect harmony with his social environment. He/she is in touch with his/her needs and emotions and takes care of his/her social life. He/she is the one who experiences well-being in all its dimensions. The concept of wellbeing reminds us that "living well" is a key pillar of our overall health and quality of life and that merely the absence of disease is not enough.

So, on behalf of World Health Day, let’s wonder:

  • "Am I taking care of my diet? Am I eating adequately and well? How could I improve my food choices?"
  • "Do I exercise?" Exercise is a key feature of a good quality of life and is inextricably linked to our mental and physical wellbeing.
  • "Am I sleeping well? Am I sleeping enough?" Sleep is an integral part of our well-being. Long-term sleep deprivation is ultimately linked to an increased likelihood of disease.
  • "Do I control my anxiety or does it control me?" You can't have health without taking care of your mind and soul.
  • "Am I socially active or do I tend to isolate myself?"
  • "How much do I enjoy my job?"
  • "Am I satisfied with my financial situation?"

The list goes on and on, as aspects of wellness interact with each other, continuously in our lives - whether we want to or not. Holland & Barrett celebrates World Health Day by offering a wide variety of supplements to take care of every need, every aspect of your wellness, as well as a multitude of nutritional choices that serve not only our well-being but also a more sustainable environment. Because what matters is not just living a long life, but living a happy life.

Scientific References

WHO, World Health Organization