Master of public administration

Chief doctor of the Lviv Regional Health Center

Round table 7 ''Individual responsibility in the sphere of health protection as an element of social responsibility''

October 8

 Health and healthy life-style: motivational aspects

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 There are more than 300 definitions of the conception “health”. The most well-known and widespread is definition from the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO): “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

The health of a person is examined on the individual level and on the level of some associations (such as household, family, community, ethnicity, nation, population).

Interpretation of the personal health of an individual is associated with our perception of his or her essence. The most complete view on the person of the time is a systematic one and close to the traditional religion’s understanding, which can be found, for instance in Archbishop’s Luka (Voyno-Yasenetsky) monograph “Spirit, soul and body”.

Thus in Christianity is accepted to distinguish three main components: body, soul and spirit within the essence of a person. The body and the soul (psycho emotional sphere) create something that is called “flesh”. The spirit is a higher origin in a person and by his nature is called to rule the flesh. But this does not mean that psychophysical level of a person is useless, burdensome shell only. Human body is amazing creature of God, “a temple of the Holy Spirit” by the words of Apostle Paul.

Scientific understanding of human being as a complex bioenergoinformatical system with pyramidal principle with the body (soma), the psychic (soul) and the spiritual sphere (the top of the pyramid) as subsystems is also of the opinion of professor Gennadiy L. Apanasenko, the founder of contemporary Ukrainian sanology (medical valeology[1]) school, chief of sports medicine and sanology department, P.L. Shupic National Medical Academy of Post-Graduate Education.

Concerning the health of different associations we should not limit it to the frameworks of the medicosanitary statistic, analyzing communities as a certain variation sample, but they should be regarded also as a distinctive macroorganism, egregore substance, which exists in certain circumstances and evolves under certain rules.

Among the factors of impact on the human health, according to WHO data, 50% refers to the life-style, meaning way of life, forms and conditions of individual or collective people’s vital activity, typical for given historical, social and economic circumstances. It is logical, that the life-style can be considered as a healthy one if only it preserves and “adds” health for the individual and human associations.

Among many well-known treatments of the “healthy life-style” it is interesting to look on the V.I. Ugnivenko’s definition: “Healthy life-style is a system of reasonable human behavior (moderateness in everything, optimal efferent mode, hardening, right diet, rational mode of life and refusal from bad habits) on the basis of the moral-religious and national traditions, which will guarantee physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being to the person in real surroundings (natural, technological and social) and active long life within the given by God earthy life”.

Properly speaking, the necessity of the scientific grounds and practical implementation of the “healthy life-style” is stipulated by the cardinal change of the situation with the individual and population’s health in the second part of past XX century, when in the world stage appeared behavior-depended chronic noninfectious psychosomatic diseases (cardiovascular, oncological etc.) and have occupied a notable place within sickness statistics and death rate. It has become apparent, that traditional way of life of individuals and human communities has ceased to be proper to the realities of the contemporary world. As academician D. Grodzinsky says: “People increase the contradictions not only with the nature, the society but also with themselves. They can hardly realize what happens with them, cannot always correctly formulate the levels of their demands…”. New treatments to the human life have appeared in the world, affirming as an expansion of the “culture of death”, that is mentioned in the Pope’s John Paul II encyclical “Evangelium vitae”.

In Ukraine in 1993th the event called “demographical scissors” has been noted. It means that the average death rate exceeds average birth rate and this has manifests itself in the depopulations processes, loss of human resources. For this moment the population size continues to decrease, while its level of health becomes worse.

Analyzing the similar problem in the Russian Federation, the group of scientist of Russian Academy of Sciences under the guidance of Doctor of Medicine, professor I.A. Gundarov had made a conclusion that spiritual problems (discouragement, feeling of unnecessary, loss of meaning of life) are the decisive factor of the increased death rate of the Russians”.

In February, 1998 in Kyiv a remarkable event has taken place. First time (and without precedents in the past) the President of Ukraine have taken part in the final Collegium of the Ministry of Health. Four milestone statements have been announced: 1) it is a matter of the “nation health”; 2) state of health of the nation is catastrophic and has become a cause that threats to the national security of Ukraine; 3) improvement of the state of nation health cannot be reached by the forces of one (medical) branch only. This is inter-branch national problem; 4) it is necessary to search and implement concrete actions for the strengthening of the motivation of such activities from the side of authorities, business and civil society, as well as from the side of every person especially.

In January, 2002 Inter-branch complex program “The health of the nation for the years 2002-2011” have been adopted by the same resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers and in few month the time of its realization will expire. The results of this program will be summarized, but even now it can be questioned whether they will satisfy the expectations.

For example, in the same 2008th Ukrainian Health Center had been closed down. It was the main institution of forming health life-style and sanitary training of population (in 1988 it was the name of reorganized Service of sanitary education). And up to now the institution remains non-functional, regardless of adopted in the recent few years resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine about the resumption of its activities.


Unfortunately, in modern society “health life-style” usually is presented as a myth about possibility to provide maximal long term of “everlasting, boisterous, and health youth” with all its “bodily attractions” and temptations, in which children should as fast as possible get into, and all the others categories “hold in” as long as possible.

Around us a global systematic crisis is growing very fast, and according to many scientist it has world-view basis, catastrophic realities of a new planetary climate becomes apparent more and more…

Therefore it is worth for everyone to become thoughtful: is it important for me to be a Human? Physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, responsible before God, Nature and people?...

And whether I do something for this?...



[1] Valeology (from lat. valeo – “to be health”) – definition, established by professor Israel Brechman, the Soviet scientist, Doctor of Medicine, academician of the Russian Academy of the Technological Sciences; valeology is considered to be “science about health” (