What is Health & Wellness?

Overview

People often use the terms health and wellness interchangeably. Although a person cannot have one and not the other, they are two different concepts that are quite variable, and their meanings are different. Wellness is more than just physical health; it is holistic and multidimensional.
It comprises six dimensions that include physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental, social,
and spiritual wellness.

World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (illness).” WHO defines wellness as “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups,” and wellness is expressed as
“a positive approach to living.”

 

Differences Between Health & Wellness

The primary difference between health and wellness is that health is the goal and wellness is the active process of achieving it. You truly cannot have health without first achieving wellness. Wellness has a direct influence on overall health, which is essential for living a robust, happy, and fulfilled life.

Health vs. Wellness

While you cannot choose the state of health, you can consciously choose wellness by living your life responsibly and taking proactive steps for your well-being.

  • Health comprises the diagnosis of a disease/illness, predisposition to a disease, and any unexpected injury.

  • Wellness is an active process of growth and change to reach your fullest health and well-being. It is associated with actively pursuing activities, making choices and lifestyle changes, controlling risk factors that can harm a person, focusing on nutrition, having a balanced diet, and following spiritual practices that lead to holistic health.

Risk factors are actions or conditions that increase a person’s risk of illness or injury. Some of the risk factors that can be harmful to good health are as follows:

  • Smoking: It is a major risk factor for lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Drinking alcohol: It can cause liver damage, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

  • Unprotected sex: It spreads sexually transmitted diseases including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

  • Extreme physical activity/sports: This may lead to broken bones and other types of injuries

 

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