What is Human Health

        A relative state in which one is able to function well physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually in order to express the full range of one's unique potentialities within the environment in which one is living. In the words of René Dubos, “health is primarily a measure of each person's ability to do and become what he wants to become.”

        Current views of health and illness recognize health as more than the absence of disease. Realizing that humans are dynamic beings whose state of health can change from day to day or even from hour to hour. It is better to think of each person as being located on a graduated scale or continuous spectrum ranging from obvious dire illness through the absence of discernible disease to a state of optimal functioning in every aspect of one's life. High-level wellness is described as a dynamic process in which the individual is actively engaged n moving toward the fulfillment of his or her potential.

Main Problems of Current Status

  • Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Tobacco
  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • Environmental Quality

Preserving health

The best way to maintain health is to preserve it through a healthful lifestyle, rather than waiting until we are sick to put things right.

This state of enhanced well-being is referred to as wellness.

The McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois IL defines wellness as:

"A state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual's potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being."

Wellness promotes an active awareness of and participation in health, as an individual and in the community. Maintaining wellness and optimal health is a lifelong, daily commitment. Steps that can help us maximize our health include:

  • a balanced, nutritious diet, sourced as naturally as possible
  • regular exercising
  • screening for diseases that may present a risk
  • learning to manage stress
  • engaging in activities that provide purpose and connection to others
  • maintaining a positive outlook and appreciating what you have
  • defining a value system, and putting it into action
  • Peak health will be different for each person, and how you achieve wellness may be different from how someone else does.
  • It may not be possible to avoid disease completely, but doing as much as we can to develop resilience and prepare the body and mind to deal with problems as they arise is a step we can all take.

Impact of ruminant-based agricultural systems


(Source: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Human+health, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/senior-health/common-issues/top-ten.aspx, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php)


Web Resources

OSU Extension 



PowerPoint Slide Sets

  • To be added

Oregon Teaching Programs

Oregon Extension Programs

Oregon Research Programs

Research and Applications

  • to be developed

Image Gallery

To be developed