The terms health and wellness are terms that are often interchanged, but their definitions are, in fact, different.

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 or infirmity”. This definition has been criticized for being too broad and unattainable, especially as it relates to the word “complete”, but very importantly, it broadens the medical definition of health beyond the simple absence of disease. The WHO states the primary determinants of health include the social, economic, and physical environments, as well as the person’s individual characteristics and behaviors. Accordingly, the maintenance and improvement of one’s health, depends not only on external or environmental factors, but also on the efforts and intelligent lifestyle choices of the individual. A person’s health depends on their wellness.

According to the National Wellness Institute, wellness is “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”, consistent with these three tenets:

  1. Wellness is considered a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential.
  2. Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.
  3. Wellness is positive and affirming.

In short, health is a state of being, whereas wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle. Health refers to physical, mental, and social well-being, while wellness aims to enhance well-being.

Investing in programs that encompass a holistic approach to well-being enables you to engage everyone, no matter where they are on their wellness journey.

Whole Health Wellness
takes a whole-person approach to enhancing
the well-being of your workforce.