The Four Dimensions of Health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a fundamental right of all individuals and a requirement for sustainable development.

It is becoming increasingly clear that differences in health outcomes are not just random but are due to many factors (known as determinants) at individual, community and societal levels.


Physical health represents one dimension of overall well-being and includes how the body functions, such as being free from illness and injury. It also includes healthy habits such as regular exercise, adequate sleep and a balanced diet.

Practicing good physical health can be difficult for many individuals due to the challenges they face in daily life. These hurdles include environmental factors such as busy schedules and sedentary lifestyles, as well as personal concerns like lack of motivation and financial limitations.

In order to maintain optimal physical health, it is important for individuals to consider all of these components and how they relate to their overall wellness. To do this, they must recognize the impact of each element on their health and develop a strategy for overcoming common obstacles that prevent them from practicing a healthy lifestyle. This will enable them to achieve a greater level of physical fitness and overall well-being. This will ultimately empower them to thrive in their lives and accomplish their goals.


A person’s mental health encompasses their emotional, psychological and social well-being. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, can affect a person’s daily functioning. These problems can also impact relationships, work and school.

Some mental illness symptoms are mild and may only last a few weeks, while others are severe. Serious mental illness can be life-long and can significantly impact a person’s ability to function.

People can take steps to improve their mental health and find support. Many treatment options exist, including psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication. Some medications boost the brain’s absorption of feel-good chemicals. Others help control the body’s chemical imbalances. A combination of these approaches can be most effective. Risk and protective factors are at play at local, family and community levels to influence mental health. They include a range of elements, such as inherited traits and experiences in childhood, including traumas and abuse. They can also be shaped by economic conditions, disease outbreaks and humanitarian crises, such as forced displacement or natural disasters.


Unlike physical or mental health, social health is less intuitively familiar. It is a characteristic of both a society and an individual, and can be measured by things like the level of trust in a community or the number of satisfying friendships. A person’s social health can be directly related to their emotional and cognitive well-being, but is also affected by the broader environment, such as the quality of neighborhoods or the availability of healthcare services. This is sometimes referred to as the social determinant of health, and it is an important consideration for public policy experts when considering health care goals.

Developing a strong sense of social connection and support can improve your health, and even boost your productivity. Help employees maintain their social health by providing regular opportunities to interact with other departments through activities such as board games in the breakroom or meditation Monday gatherings. This can also help reduce siloed work cultures and encourage a more collaborative culture.


Spiritual health is a dimension of overall well-being, along with physical, mental and social. It involves following an internal moral compass or finding peace and calm through meditation. It also includes beliefs about life’s meaning and purpose.

Some participants considered that human connection with themselves, others and nature can be seen as a component of spiritual health. This can lead to behaviors like pacifism, forgiveness, compassion, altruism and helping others unconditionally. It can also result in feelings like self-worth, hope and transcendence.

A total of 6 constructs were identified and further factor analysis was performed. These were placed under 3 domains -self-evolution, self-actualization and transcendence. 27 determinants got mapped to these domains after the analysis. These determinants included – wider perspective, nurturance-art and engineering from within; a deeper meaning-purpose of life; universal love-sublimating jealousy and considering oneself as a part of the supreme. These determinants correlated statistically at the cognitive, affective and behavioral levels. These were also reflected in the broader psychological framework.