What Is Wellness?

2009 April 25

I mention Wellness ALOT… If you haven’t already noticed…

The other day I had someone ask me, what do you mean “Wellness”… They didn’t understand the term and did not have a clear definition of what Wellness was.

As I answered them with my own version, I quickly realized that wellness could mean many things to many different people.

So I did a few searches on the subject and here is what some others have to say about the definition of wellness… After you read thru, if you have anything to add, please do.


My Definition…

Wellness to me is the proactive care of the human frame. It encompasses the body, mind, spirit and emotions. It is a philosophy of  promoting health with an emphasis on lifestyle and personal responsibility.

Wellness Definitions from around the internet

  • A state of optimal health or optimal functioning.
  • A state of health more positive than the mere absence of disease, wellness programs emphasize selfresponsibility for a lifestyle process that realizes the individual’s highest physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
  • A type of preventive medicine associated with an individual’s lifestyle which, through a combination of exercise and diet, can reduce health care utilization and costs.
  • A healthy state of wellbeing free from disease.
  • The quality or state of being in good health. (Webster’s dictionary). Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence. (National Wellness Institute)
  • Disease prevention and health promotion activities that shifts focus from curing disease to promoting health.
  • A dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being; a way of life which equips the individual to realize the full potential of his/her capabilities and to overcome and compensate for weaknesses; a lifestyle which recognizes the importance of nutrition, physical fitness, stress reduction, and self-responsibility. Wellness has been viewed as the result of four key factors over which an individual has varying degrees of control: human biology, environment, health care organization and lifestyle. Preventive medicine associated with lifestyle and preventive care that can reduce health- care utilization and costs. “Wellness” programs became popular with the advent of managed care in the 1980s, with the philosophy and business idea that health plans needed to emphasize keeping their beneficiaries well. However, there has been a drop off in these programs in the 1990s as health plans recognize the difficulty in assessing efficacy and they found that subscribers tend to change plans regularly, thus reducing benefit of keeping one population “well”. WHCRA – See Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act.
  • Programs or benefits introduced to encourage fitness, preventive care and early detection of illness to help reduce the costs of future care (also known as preventive care).
  • Emphasizes individual responsibility for well being through the practice of health-promoting life-style behaviors.

Hopefully that helps out and you have a broader understanding and definition of what Wellness is.

So now it’s time to implement some personal responsibility and do some health promoting stuff…

I’m gonna go take some essential nutrient supplements, drink some of those great super juices, stretch, go outside take some deep breaths and sit by the water in nature for at least 15-20 minutes. (Then get back to work)

To your health and well-being,

Shawn King

Wellness Coach

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