For many years, a lot of people have tried to explain what it means to be wholly healthy according to their own perception and the definition of health has been constricted to only encompass physical wellbeing from a medical context. For example, a farmer believes that as long as he is able to wake up very early in the morning, walk to farm, clear the weeds, harvest the ripe crops, cultivate the land for forthcoming cropping, goes back home with the harvested crops and repeats similar activities on a daily basis without breaking down, then he is healthy. Likewise, a teacher believes that he is healthy as long as he is able to wake up very early in the morning, prepare his lesson note or teaching materials, gets to school before the designated time, takes his classes, conduct after school tutorials or private lessons and repeats similar activities on a daily basis without breaking down.
However, there have been contention among health scholars as regards what it means to be wholly healthy. The definition of health as attracted critique from individuals and various professional bodies because it is believed that these definitions does not offer a vivid outlook towards psychological, mental, social and even spiritual point of view. Such definitions of health were only characterized based on anatomy, physiology, and ability to perform personally valued family work and community roles. Hence, in other to bring about a correspondence in the definition of health and also to decipher what it really means to be wholly healthy, The World Health Organization in the year 1948, proposed a definition that aimed lofty at associating health with wellbeing in terms of physical, mental and social wellbeing. With regards to that, The World Health Organization then defined health “as the state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Nevertheless, the word “Complete” in that definition has brought about dissension among individuals and professional bodies alike. it was criticized as being vague, excessively broad and was not construed as measurable. it is generally believed that a complete state of health is not attainable and that everyone is striving to attain wellbeing thus bringing about the theory stating that “Health is on a continuum” which implies that the health of every individual is dynamic. Conclusively, our health status is not static, it is dynamic. It changes in connection with our lifestyle and our day to day activities. Hence the health continuum scale: