In 1986 the World Health Organization (WHO) arranged the first conference on Health Promotion in Ottawa, Canada. At that conference an international agreement was signed in which Health Promotion was defined as:
“Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy life-styles to well-being.”
Since then the subsequent WHO Global Health Promotion Conferences have established and developed the global principles and action areas for health promotion.