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Think about how you define health. Do you think your definition is universal, or is it...

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joanne79 | Student, College Senior | (Level 2) Honors

Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:09 AM via web

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Think about how you define health. Do you think your definition is universal, or is it specific to your culture and/or beliefs?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:19 AM (Answer #1)

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I would say that much of my definition of health is at least somewhat based on my culture.

For me, health is the ability to do all of the things that a person is typically able to do.  By that, I mean that I feel that I am healthy if I am able to do things like walking, picking up moderately sized objects and going up stairs easily.  If I am not healthy, some of these things might be impossible for me.  If I am sick, I might not be able to walk.  If I am too obese, I might not be able to go up stairs. 

This sort of definition is at least somewhat culturally defined.  I do not live in a culture in which I am expected to do heavy manual labor.  If I lived in such a culture, I might think that I would have to be able to do that kind of labor in order to be healthy.  By contrast, if I lived in a culture in which being fat was seen as appealing, I would probably not see walking up stairs as a major indicator of health.

Thus, I would say that different societies have at least slightly different visions of what constitutes health.

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