Concept of Health
You must have heard your mother, your grandparents, in fact, most elders, say-
ing that if you want to remain healthy, you must follow certain rules. There are
certain things you are asked to do everyday like brushing your teeth, having a
bath, eating good and nutritious food at regular times, sleeping early and getting
up early and doing regular exercise, etc. Have you ever asked yourself why you
are told to do all the these things? What will happen if you do not bathe daily?
What will happen if you sleep late every day? What will happen to your body if
you do not take nutritious food? Can you imagine what your body will start
looking like if you just kept on eating and do nothing?
How can you find out whether you are healthy or not? What are the signs you
would look for? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this
After reading this lesson, you will be able to the following:
describe the physical, mental and social aspects of health;
list the indices of good health;
explain the importance of health;
relate prevailing conditions to their consequences.
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11.3 Concept of Health
There are a number of things you want to do, but there are times when you find
that you are not well enough to do all that you want to do. Even on a regular
morning, when every member of the house is getting ready, there is so much to
do - someone wants breakfast, your sister wants her shirt to be ironed, your little
brother realizes that his shoes are not polished. Your mother is trying to cope up
with everything. You want to share some responsibilities with your mother, but
you do not have enough energy to do so, because your body is so weak that it can
not take extra stress. This shows that your body can function effectively only
when it is healthy.
Definition of health
You may say ‘health’ is the absence of disease. According to the World Health
Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well
being and not merely the absence of disease.”
Can you now list the signs of good health? Also, can you tell why this listing is
necessary? Yes, you are right. If you know the signs of good health, you can
recognize a healthy person, or know if you yourself are in a state of health. Let us
study the signs in detail now.
11.4 Signs of Good Health
To look for signs of good health, we must examine all the three aspects-physical,
mental and social.
A. Physical health
Mental A person who enjoys good physical health is one who -
has good posture
weighs normal for age and height
has all body organs functioning normally
has a clear and clean skin
has bright eyes
has good textured and shining hair
has a clean breath
has a good appetite
gets sound sleep
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Physical health is easy to detect and describe. A person is physically healthy
if he or she looks alert and responsive.
B. Social heath
A person with good social health -
gets along well with people around
has pleasant manners
fulfills responsibility towards others
A person is socially healthy if he or she can move in the society confidently
C. Mental health
Mental health implies -
control on emotions
sensitive to the needs of others
confidence in one’s own abilities
freedom from unnecessary tensions, anxieties and worries
A person is mentally healthy if he or she is relaxed and free from any wor-
PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH ARE INTER RELATED
You would be surprised to note that all three aspects of health are related. Have
you noticed that when your brother has been through an illness, he becomes
irritable? He loses his temper much faster than in his healthy days. Why? He
lacks in physical energy and gets frustrated when he can’t do things that he wants
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to do. Hence he gets angry, cries, shouts, screams and fights. Have you heard of
cases where people develop high blood pressure because they worry too much or
develop ulcers in the stomach because they are tens all the time?
Hence, you can see that a change in any one aspect of health, that is social or
mental or physical, has an effect on the other aspects also. All the three aspects
are inter–related and to be called healthy, one must have good health in all the
INTEXT QUESTIONS 11.1
1. Choose the correct alternative:
(i) A person is healthy if he is -
(a) Physically and mentally healthy
(b) Mentally and socially healthy
(c) Physically and socially healthy
(d) Physically, mentally and socially healthy.
(ii) A mentally healthy person has -
(c) Pleasant manners
(c) Good appetite
2. State whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F)
(a) Health means absence of disease
(b) A physically healthy person has well functioning organs in the body.
(c) Freedom from tension implies good mental health.
(d) If a person helps others it is a sign of social health.
3. State four characteristics of a person enjoying ‘Good health’.
11.5 Factors Affecting Health
In the beginning of the lesson, we talked of a few things which your elders ask
you to do everyday. Do you remember what they are?
These are some of the things which affect your health. If you do them you remain
Concept of Health :: 167
Let us now study all the factors which can affect our health -
(1) Personal hygiene
(3) Rest and sleep
(5) Clean home environment
(6) Our eating habits
(7) Climate and clothing
(8) Safety measures at play and work
(9) Influence of smoking, alcohol and drugs
Let us now examine some of these in detail.
11.6 Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene means keeping oneself clean. There are some activities you
perform everyday in order to keep yourself clean. Can you list these?
Yes, some of these are going to the toilet, cleaning your teeth, having a bath,
cleaning your eyes, washing your hands before and after eating, wearing clean
clothes, combing your hair, etc. You must realise that all these are the rules of
1. Regular use of the toilet: Why does your mother insist that you go to the
toilet every morning? Because a regular bowel movement keeps your body
free from waste matter.
You probably have a toilet at home. But there are many people who do not have
it. They have to go out to the fields to defecate. Here are some things you must
remember when using the toilet.
(a) Always wear shoes- Wearing shoes when going to the toilet is necessary
because germs and dirt will not stick to your feet and make you ill.
(b) Use clean water in a clean mug- Always use clean water in a clean mug to
wash yourself after going to the toilet. Dirty water carries germs and is harm-
ful for you.
Can you say what will happen if you carry clean water in a dirty mug? The water
will also become dirty. So, make sure to use clean water in a clean mug. If you
scrub your mug everyday with a cleaning powder it will stay clean.
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(c) Wash hands after toilet- Make sure to wash your hands with soap and not
mud after going to the toilet. Why is this necessary? This is necessary be-
cause the dirt and germs on your hands must be removed. While washing
hands see that your nails are also cleaned. Imagine what will happen if you
eat food with these dirty hands!
Why should you not use mud to wash your hands? Because mud may contain dirt
and germs which can cause disease.
2. Washing hands before eating: When you eat with dirty hands, you also eat
the dirt. This dirt is full of germs which can cause diseases. This is why, your
mother always asks you to wash your hands with soap and water before you
3. Bathing regularly: ‘Bathing’ does not mean that you simply pour water on
your body. Taking a good bath means that you should thoroughly apply soap
on the entire body. Also after taking a proper bath, it is very important that
you use a clean towel to dry your skin. Otherwise, your skin would again
become dirty if you do not use a neat and clean towel to wipe your body.
Examine your skin carefully. Can you see very small holes in your skin?
These are called ‘pores’ and your skin breathes through these pores. When
dirt collects on the skin, these pores get blocked. Germs attack, and the result
is pimples and boils. Hence, to avoid all these diseases and skin infections, it
is necessary for you to have bath regularly, and keep your skin clean in sum-
mer as well as in winter.
4. Brushing your teeth: Have you ever stood near a person with bad breath?
Don’t you feel like turning your face away? What do you think causes bad
breath in a person? Bad breath is caused due to unclean teeth. When teeth are
not brushed regularly, small bits and pieces of food stick to them. Germs like
bacteria come and attack this food and the teeth at the same time. Soon the
teeth lose their shine, become yellow and the breath begins to smell.
Do you understand now why it is important for you to brush your teeth regu-
larly? You must remember that for brushing you should use a proper brush
which is soft and do not hurt your teeth and gums.
For proper care of teeth, it is very important that after every meal, you must
wash your mouth with plain water. This would prevent decaying of teeth that
is, your teeth would remain healthy.
Sweet foods are more harmful than salty foods. This is why your mother
tells you not to eat too many things like sweets, chocolates, ice creams, past-
ries, etc. Drinking plenty of milk helps in making your teeth strong and healthy.
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5. Washing hair, cleaning eyes, ears, nails: Have you noticed what happens
to your hair when you don’t comb them for a day? There are tangles in them
and combing is difficult. If you don’t wash them for a few days, your hair
becomes dirty and dull. It may also get infested with lice. To avoid all this,
you should comb your hair daily and wash them frequently to keep them
shining and smooth.
What happens when you don’t wash your eyes? Dirt collects in the corners and
makes them sticky. Flies come and sit on this dirt and cause infection. This infec-
tion makes you rub your eyes which causes redness. Wash your eyes regularly
with clean, cold water and keep them shining and clear.
Your ears become blocked with a yellow wax which must be removed. Blocking
can cause deafness, hence, wax must be removed. Be careful in removing wax.
Never use pointed pins to remove it. Your ear drum may be hurt. Do not put any
oil without consulting the doctor.
Long nails gather a lot of dirt under them. Have you seen how dirty your nails
look when dirt has collected under them? This dirt can have germs and can enter
your stomach along with your food. You know that the germs can then make you
ill. Therefore, what should you do? You should keep your nails short and clean.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 11.2
Complete the sentence with the correct word:
1. Skin should be kept ……………………..
2. To keep teeth healthy and clean, brush them…………..
(a) in the morning
(b) at night
(c) morning and evening
(d) after each meal
3. To keep your teeth strong and healthy………………….
(a) eat chocolates
(b) eat ice cream
(c) drink lot of milk
(d) drink water
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Select ten children in your neighbourhood. Observe their nails, teeth, hands,
hair, clothes, shoes, etc., and find out how many of them are clean. Record
this information in the format given.
Name Nails Teeth Dress Hair Clothes Shoes
Cut clean washed clean washed polished
1.Ritesh √ √ √ √ √ √
Suppose you decide to clean your kitchen and store on the same day. How do you
feel after doing all the heavy work? You feel very tired, your whole body and
specially your arms ache and pain.
Why is this so? This is because you have used those muscles of your body which
you generally do not use. These muscles are not used to exercise and, hence, start
Exercise means making all the muscles of the body work so that they re-
main fit and active.
In order to be beneficial, exercise must be -
adequate, that is, neigther not too little, nor too much.
It is important to remember that sick and weak people should not do strenuous
exercises which may make them sick.
You already know that extra fat is stored in the muscles of your body. Exercise
helps to remove this fat. Can you imagine how fat you will become if this fat is
not removed through regular exercise? During exercise, all the organs of the
body start functioning efficiently. Have you noticed how your legs start tingling
after you come back from a walk? Do you also feel hungry after exercise?
Exercise makes you active physically and mentally, and ready for work.
Can you now say, why exercise is important for us? Yes, exercise is important
Concept of Health :: 171
helps to reduce body fat
ensures better digestion and respiration
ensures efficient blood supply
increases mental alertness
adds to physical mobility
makes one feel more energetic
What do you think is the best way to exercise? You can-
play any game you like
go walking or jogging
do yoga, etc.
You can choose any exercise, depending on your interest. Exercise can be done
either in the morning or in the evening, depending on your convenience. But
remember the best time for exercising is early morning. Because this is the time
when the air is fresh and free from pollution. When you breathe this air, you feel
very fresh throughout the day.
11.8 Rest and Sleep
Although regular exercise is essential for the upkeep of health, regular rest and
sleep are equally necessary. This is for the tired muscles to relax.
Do you remember what happens after you wash a lot of clothes in a day? Your
arms start aching and you feel very tired. At that moment, you feel you cannot do
any more work. But after sitting for some time, you feel fit and start doing some-
When you work, your body uses oxygen which gives you energy. When this
oxygen is used by the body, some waste products are produced which collect in
the muscles. Normally, these waste products are removed as soon as they are
formed. But when you do heavy work, these waste products are formed faster
than they are removed, so they start collecting in the muscles. As a result you feel
tired. This tiredness is also known as “fatigue”.
‘Fatigue’ is the body’s inability to do further work or it is the body’s
reduced capacity to do work.
When you sit down and rest, your body finds the time to clear this waste and your
muscles become active once again. Similarly, sleep not only relieves your tired
muscles but also your mind.
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Rest and Sleep
Every one does not need the same amount of sleep. You have seen that small
children and babies sleep more than you or your parents do. A person who works
hard the whole day, will also need to sleep more than one who does little work
during the day. Can you tell why?
Have you noticed that some people walk and sit with their back straight and
some others walk with their backs bent? Which do you think looks better? The
straight back or the curved back? Yes, the straight back looks much better and is
also the correct way to walk and sit.
The manner in which one sits or walks is known as posture.
If you do not hold the body properly when standing or sitting, your posture is
incorrect. If you stand or sit with your back bent, it will put extra pressure on the
organs of your abdomen and chest. You will also develop a curved spine which
will result in backache. So you can see why maintaining a correct posture is
important if you want to remain healthy?
Remember, correct posture is not only important while sitting, walking or stand-
ing. It is equally important that while doing any household task, one must have
good posture. Do you know what is a correct posture?
‘Correct posture’ in doing any task may be defined as the position which
requires the utilization of the smallest amount of energy.
For example, a correct standing posture is the one in which the head, neck, chest,
and abdomen are balanced vertically one upon the other.
In your family, make a note of all the members who have improper posture while
sitting at a desk or while walking. Recommend to them the right way of main-
taining good posture.
Concept of Health :: 173
Name Relationship with you Activity Defect in Recommendation for
Observed posture correcting posture
INTEXT QUESTIONS 11.3
Complete the sentence with the correct word:
1. Exercise makes you
2. Exercise must be
3. Rest enables tired muscles to
4. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Fatigue is the body’s __________to do work.
(b) The manner in which one sits or walks is ______________.
(c) Correct posture is the one__________________.
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11.10 Clean Home Environment
A clean and healthy environment around you does a lot in keeping you in good
health. You have already learnt how to keep your environment clean in lesson
10. It would be helpful to go back and read that lesson once again.
11.11 Our Eating Habits
The food we eat can affect our health in many ways. So it is very important to
know which foods to choose and why.
All of you know food is very important for us. Food is required:-
(a) provide energy in our body
(b) build muscles and bones
(c) protect the body from diseases
It you want to be healthy, you must eat proper food which is balanced and pro-
vides you with all the nutrients. If you look around, you will find that many
children are thin and small and may be very weak.
Do you know what would be the reason for this? All these may be due to the fact
(a) They do not eat the right kind of food
(b) They have poor eating habits
Apart from eating the right kind of food, it is important for you to develop good
eating habits. These are:
(1) Eating the right quantity of food
(2) Eating food at proper times
(3) Avoiding snacks between the meals
(4) Keeping a check on too much of fried or fast foods
(5) Eating more fruits and vegetables
(6) Avoiding sweets, chocolates, etc.
11.12 Climate and Clothing
You have already studied about clothes and the need for clothes in lesson 8. If
you like, you can go back and read it once again. You know that clothes are made
of various fabrics which are suitable for different types of climate.
It is very important for us to select the right kind of clothes to wear according to
Concept of Health :: 175
the climate, otherwise we will be uncomfortable and this may also affect our
health. For example, if one wears woolens in summer season, one will develop
rashes on the skin. Similarly, if one wears light, cotton clothes in winter, one may
catch a cold and suffer.
Similarly, if the clothes worn are not clean or according to the prevalent fashion,
the wearer feels conscious. It generates a feeling of inadequacy or inferiority.
This will affect the manner of working of that person.
The following tips can help you:
You can be comfortable by wearing cottons in summer and silk or woolens
You will find synthetic or non-crushable fabrics more suitable for office or
long time wear.
Festive occasions call for bright colours whereas hospital visits and funer-
als call for softer shades.
Remember, even though you may not have many clothes, you can still be smart
and well dressed if you keep your clothes clean and well pressed. You can also
mix and match your clothes to get different combinations.
11.13 Safety Measures at Play and Work
You know that safety has a direct influence on your health. If the environment
around you is not safe, your health will immediately suffer. If floors are slippery
or stairs uneven, or the roof top has an unprotected edge, there may be accidents.
You will study more about safety measures to be taken at home and the conse-
quences of not observing safety measures in lesson 29 in this course.
We can say that in order to maintain a healthy life, one must take precautions
every where - at home, in the play ground, on the roads, at work, etc.
11.14 Influence of Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs
Smoking is a habit. It does the most harm to your body, whether it comes from
pipes, cigars or cigarettes. It is due to the harmful carbon monoxide and nicotine.
They damage many different parts of the body. When people first smoke (breathe
the smoke into their lungs), their eyes start watering and they may cough.
It is very important to break this habit. Continuous smoking become a cause for
cancer of the lungs and mouth. It also makes a person prone to heart diseases and
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Like smoking, drinking alcohol becomes a habit. Although young people start
drinking under peer pressure, they soon become addicted to it. Alcohol slows
down working of the brain. As a result, the person becomes disoriented or con-
fused. Excessive consumption of alcohol can delay responses. This is why people
under the influence of alcohol are not permitted to drive.
Alcohol consumption leads to hardening of arteries and may result in heart at-
tacks. Thus, drinking is a habit everyone must avoid at all costs.
Drugs are the medicines used to cure illness, reduce pain and prevent the spread
of disease. Drugs have been used for thousands of years. There are many sources
from which they are obtained–basically, they come from chemicals in the roots,
leaves, seeds and juices of plants.
Drugs are beneficial to us when taken in the prescribed dosage only. When over-
doses of certain drugs like cocaine, morphine, are taken, the person becomes
addicted to them. Over a period of time, this may prove fatal and the person may
INTEXT QUESTIONS 11.4
1. If you want to be healthy, you must eat:
a) Fried food
b) Chocolates, in addition to food
c) Meals at regular time
d) Meals at odd hours
2. Indicate the kind of clothes most suitable for wearing in-
i) Summer __________
ii) Winter ____________
iii) Rainy season ___________
iv) Weddings ______________
3. State two ill-effects that smoking can have on a person’s health.
4. What can be the consequences when a person under the influence of alchol
drives a car?
5. State one benefit of taking drugs.
6. What can happen to a person addicted to drug use?
Concept of Health :: 177
11.15 What You Have Learnt
In order to make it easy for you to remember, here are the main points of the
Health Factors affecting health
Physical Mental Social – Personal hygiene
– Rest and sleep
– Our Eating habits
– Climate and clothing
– Safety measures at play
– Influence of smoking, alcohol
11.16 Terminal Exercise
1. Define health and illustrate with examples how the three aspects of health
2. Match the statements in column A with those in column B
Column A Column B
(a) After toilet wash hands with (i) regularly
(b) Brushing teeth gives you (ii) curved back
(c) One should bathe (iii) exercise
(d) Exercise keeps one (iv) healthy and shining teeth
(e) Yoga is good way to (v) soap and water
(f) Incorrect posture results in (vi) fit and active
(vii) once a week
11.17 Answers to Intext Questions
11.1 1. (i) (d) (ii) (a)
2. (a) False.
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3. – is energetic
– has a good apetite
– gets sound sleep
– has good posture
11.2 1. (d)
11.3 1. (b)
4. (a) Inability
(c) Position requiring smallest amount of energy for any task.
11.4 1. (c)
2. (i) cotton, light
(ii) woollen, silk, warm
(iii) synthetic, drip dry
(iv) brightly coloured
3. Cancer of lungs/mouth; heart diseases
4. May cause an accident due to slower reflexes/responses
5. Relief from pain, diseases
6. Sickness, death