The field and practice of worksite wellness today basically revolves around three terms – health, wellness and wellbeing. Other terms also seen used include: thriving, flourishing, health promotion, optimal living and
Since these terms are used interchangeably or as synonyms, I have wondered just how different or the same these terms are? When I framed out this question in my mind, I thought it would be simple enough to just look-up their definitions and I would have my answer.
But, boy was I wrong. Definitions only got me so far and not very far at that. It appears that a clearer picture requires understanding the term’s concept and context, as well as its definition.
What Is Health?
Probably, the most commonly cited definition of health is the 1948 definition by 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 1994 Mosby, 4th Edition, Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Dictionary defines health as: “A condition of physical, mental and social wellbeing and the absence of disease or other abnormal condition. It is not a static condition.”
Rice University defines health as being “a multi-dimensional concept that is usually and measured in terms of: l) absence of physical pain, physical disability, or a condition that is likely to cause death, 2) emotional well-being, and 3) satisfactory social functioning.”
Wikipedia sees health as being “the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, m