What Is the Difference Between Health and Wellness | ISSA (2022)

Two goals people commonly have are to improve their health and/or improve their wellness. To some, these two terms mean the same thing. Yet, they are very different. Understanding what each one is, as well as their differences, is helpful to creating clear goals and specific training or coaching programs.

What Is Health?

The 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." Thus, health isn't achieved simply by avoiding chronic disease.

This definition requires that a person have both physical health and mental health to be considered healthy. It's often the mental health portion that is ignored. People understand that regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle promote better health. Yet, they fail to recognize the impact of depression, anxiety, or other types of mental illness. As long as their blood pressure and cholesterol are okay, they think that they are healthy. They don't realize that poor mental health is a factor. But it is a factor, and it's one that can lower their overall health status.

The WHO's definition also incorporates social well being for optimal health. This highlights the importance of relationships when it comes to good health. It is whether you enjoy time spent with loved ones. It also involves interactions in other social circles, such as with friends and co-workers.

If health is a combination of physical health, mental health, and social well being, how is wellness defined?

What Is Wellness?

According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is "the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health." This organization goes on to stress that the key word in this definition is "active." So, wellness isn't just about passively waiting for optimal health and wellbeing to occur. It involves actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

The other important piece of this definition is "holistic health." Yes, physical health is part of wellness. But so too are other forms or dimensions of health. There are as many as 12 dimensions of health according to the institute. The main six are:

(Video) Are Health and Wellness Really Related?

Other organizations recognize additional wellness dimensions. One example is occupational wellness or workplace wellness. This refers to having a healthy wellbeing while at work. Another is intellectual wellness. This is wellness pertaining to your knowledge and skills. There's also financial wellness and cultural wellness. Suffice it to say that wellness encompasses all areas of life.

(Video) The Difference Between Health and Wellness: A Comprehensive Guide

Components of Health and Wellness

If you look at each definition, you notice that they have many similar components. Both have an element of physical health, for instance. Both also include a mental health component. And each one addresses the importance of social well being or the connections we have with others.

Thus, each of these components must be satisfied to achieve total health or total wellness. This only makes sense because, though different, the two are deeply connected.

Why Health and Wellness are Connected

The reality is that health can impact wellness and vice versa. For example, if you are faced with a chronic health issue—which is common with older adults—your financial wellness may be affected. Your medical bills or other health care expenses can erode your life savings.

Wellness can also impact health. If you face a lot of stress at work, you may notice your physical health begin to decline. Or you may come down with an illness that your stressed-out immune system doesn't have the ability to fight off.

If your intellectual wellness is reduced, you may not understand how to hit your health-related goals. You have a harder time grasping what you need to do to increase your muscular strength or improve your muscular endurance. Or you miss an important part of the program, increasing your injury risk. This impacts your physical health.

What Is the Difference Between Health and Wellness?

At its core, health is the status of your wellbeing while wellness is the active pursuit of a healthier wellbeing. This is a critical difference.

The reason that knowing this difference is important is that, although your health status may represent where you are, your wellbeing represents the actions you can take to get where you want to be. This might involve modifying your diet to eat healthier foods. Or it could include making physical activity a priority or using your company's wellness program.

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The benefit of wellness is that it an active approach. You may have no control over developing cancer, for instance. Yet, you do have control over what you do to live the healthiest life possible with this illness.

Recognizing this difference helps to limit feelings of helplessness. It serves as a reminder that, even if we can't control everything, there are still a lot of areas of our lives that we can still influence. This influence begins with changing our behaviors, habits, and actions.

Importance of Developing a Holistic Approach

Taking a holistic approach as an athlete or coach offers many benefits. Humans do not exist in a vacuum. So, when one area of our lives is out of whack, it can impact another area. Our physical health affects our financial health. Our social well being influences our mental health. Every aspect of life is intertwined with life's other aspects.

In fact, this is the basic premise of holistic medicine. These practitioners believe that true recovery from an illness or disease requires holistic healing. It takes looking beyond the condition itself to consider how other factors may be leading to the health issue.

It is this type of holistic approach that is leading some companies to create an employee wellness program. These businesses strive to improve employee wellbeing by offering remote work or flexible schedules. Their workplace wellness program might also include help with quitting smoking, teaching stress relief techniques, or other forms of health promotion.

Health coaching is another area that benefits from a holistic approach. A health coach understands the interplay between wellness and subsequent health. A wellness coach knows what types of actions to suggest if the goal is improved health.

Taking Health and Wellness One Step Further

Of course, everyone is different. So, what helps one person achieve a higher level of health or wellness won't necessarily work for someone else. One way to help clients make the best diet and exercise decisions for them is to take a closer look at their genetic makeup.

(Video) Health vs. wellness: what’s the difference?

The ISSA's DNA-Based Fitness Coach certification teaches you how to do this. Upon completion of this course, you will know how to make diet and physical fitness recommendations based on a client's genes. This offers a more personalized approach, providing a more effective plan for hitting their health and fitness goals.

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Distinguish yourself apart from all other trainers. The DNA-Based Fitness Coach program unlocks the full potential of your clients by understanding how genetics play a role in program design. This provides greater accuracy and eliminates trial and error with clients — it's a game changer.

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What is the main difference of health and wellness? ›

In understanding the difference between health and wellness, in short, health is a state of being, whereas wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle (3). Health refers to physical, mental, and social well-being; wellness aims to enhance well-being.

How would you define health and wellness? ›

Definitions of health and wellness: Health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease, or infirmity. Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.

What is difference between health and wellness fitness? ›

Fitness specifically refers to physical health, and is the ability to complete a physical task, or the lack of a physical ailment. Wellness, on the other hand, refers to the balance of a spectrum of health-related elements in one's life.

Why is it important to know the difference between health and wellness? ›

Health relates to your physical functioning, whereas wellness is focused on quality of being in all areas of your life, not just your body. Understanding the difference can help you build both better health and wellness.

What is the difference between health and wellness quizlet? ›

What is the difference between Health and wellness? Health- refers to that overall condition of the persons body and time, presences or absents of injury or illness. Wellness-ability to achieve optimal health, to live to the fullest.

What is a simple definition of wellness? ›

Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you're thriving. To understand the significance of wellness, it's important to understand how it's linked to health.

What is the similarities between health and wellness? ›

Both have an element of physical health, for instance. Both also include a mental health component. And each one addresses the importance of social well being or the connections we have with others. Thus, each of these components must be satisfied to achieve total health or total wellness.

What are the types of health and wellness? ›

The Seven Dimensions of Wellness
  • Physical.
  • Emotional.
  • Intellectual.
  • Social.
  • Spiritual.
  • Environmental.
  • Occupational.

What are the 5 components of health and wellness? ›

There are five main aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. In order to be considered "well," it is imperative for none of these areas to be neglected.

What is health and wellness in PE? ›

A quality Health and Physical Education Program supports the physical, intellectual and social-emotional development of students. When students maintain an adequate level of physical fitness and make healthy choices, the conditions and opportunities for learning increase.

What is the difference between a health coach and a wellness coach? ›

The primary difference is that wellness coaches tend to use physical fitness techniques to improve mental wellness, while health coaches use stress management techniques to help clients overcome obstacles in achieving physical fitness.

What comes under health and fitness? ›

  • Exercise.
  • Aerobics.
  • Bodyweight exercise (Calisthenics)
  • Cycling.
  • Exercise equipment.
  • Exercise instructors.
  • Dancing.
  • Exercise physiology.

What are the 4 parts of health and wellness? ›

Experts widely consider exercise, good nutrition, relaxation and sleep crucial to healthy living. While these so-called “four pillars” of good health help keep your body running, they also do wonders for your emotional well-being.

How do you achieve health and wellness? ›

  1. Take Proper Sleep: ...
  2. Eat a Balanced Diet: ...
  3. Expose Your Body to Sunlight: ...
  4. Deal with Stress: ...
  5. Exercise Daily: ...
  6. Stay Away from Smoking and Alcohol: ...
  7. Be Social, as Much as You Can: ...
  8. Find and Practice New Hobbies:

Does health and wellness come together all the time? ›

Recapping Health & Wellness

Health is essentially the goal and wellness is an active approach to achieving it. Understanding the difference is key to living a fulfilled life. Whereas health cannot always be changed, there is always an opportunity to take an active and positive approach to wellness.

WHO defined health as wellness? ›

The WHO constitution states: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

What is the difference between health and wellness quizlet Chapter 5? ›

Health: a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Wellness: has to do with successfully balancing things that happen in everyday lives.

What do the terms health and wellness mean Lo 2? ›

LO 2) Health is the complete state of physical, mental, & social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or informity. It takes the emphasis off disease and redirects jt to the healthy attitudes and life stykes. Wellness has to do with sucessfully balance things that happen in everday lives.

What is a key word that describes wellness? ›

The quality or state of being in good health. health. wellbeing. healthiness. soundness.

What key word describes wellness? ›

wellbeing, eudemonia, fitness, wholeness, robustness, shape, strength, verdure, vigor.

What are the 7 types of wellness? ›

Wellness is commonly viewed as having seven dimensions: mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. These dimensions are interdependent and influence each other. When one dimension of our well-being is out of balance, the other dimensions are affected.

What is the opposite of health and wellness? ›

Antonyms: illness, malady, sickness, unwellness.

What are the benefits of health and wellness? ›

Research studies related to wellness indicate that Americans who take good care of themselves and make healthy lifestyle choices are healthier, happier, more productive, miss less work, and have lower healthcare costs.

What is the relationship between health and wellbeing? ›

Health is one of the top things people say matters to wellbeing2. Both physical health and mental health can influence wellbeing3. Recent acute health problems affect wellbeing most but longer-term chronic ill health also has an effect on wellbeing4. wellbeing and wellbeing itself influences health.

What are 3 types of health? ›

The health triangle consists of: Physical, Social, and Mental Health.

What is health example? ›

An example of such a definition of health is: "a state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychological integrity; ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress".

What are the 6 components of health and wellness? ›

The National Wellness Institute promotes Six Dimensions of Wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual.

What are the 3 areas of health and wellness? ›

This definition indicates that it is really important to know the overall individual's current health and wellbeing status by considering all three dimensions of health that is physical, mental and social health.

What are the 8 types of health? ›

Eight Dimensions
  • Physical Wellness.
  • Emotional Wellness.
  • Social Wellness.
  • Intellectual Wellness.
  • Environmental Wellness.
  • Spiritual Wellness.
  • Vocational Wellness.
  • Financial Wellness.

What are the 8 factors of wellness? ›

That includes the emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, financial, social, environmental, and spiritual parts. These dimensions are interconnected, one dimension building on another.

What is sports health and wellness? ›

The course Wellness, Sport and Health is a Professional Master's degree that prepares professionals able to plan, promote and manage events and activities in the areas related to wellness culture and person's physical and mental well-being.

What are the 5 physical health? ›

A. Health-related components of Physical Fitness. There are five components of physical fitness: (1) body composition, (2) flexibility, (3) muscular strength, (4) muscular endurance, and (5) cardiorespiratory endurance.

Can you call yourself a wellness coach without certification? ›

There are no official or legal requirements for education, training, or credentials for someone starting relatively recently in this career. Technically, you can call yourself a life coach and begin working with clients immediately.

What does a health & wellness coach do? ›

What Is a Health and Wellness Coach? A health and wellness coach works one-on-one with individuals who want to improve their health and well-being. Using concepts drawn from psychology, behavior change, and life coaching fields, a wellness coach helps their client overcome obstacles to maintain healthy habits for life.

What is a wellness certification? ›

Wellness certifications are an attempt to self-regulate the industry so that employees get access to well-designed and well-run wellness programs.

Can you be fit but not healthy? ›

Most people believe being healthy and being fit are one and the same. In reality, they can be separate states of physical being. You can be really fit, and not very healthy, and you can be very healthy and not very fit.

Does beauty fall under wellness? ›

All of beauty technically could fall under wellness. Yes, skincare is a big piece of that from a physical product standpoint. But you could also think of fragrance as wellness.

What can boost health? ›

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.

What are the core 4 in health? ›

An excellent place to start is focusing on the core four: activity, nutrition, sleep, and emotional health.

What are tips of wellness? ›

Back-to-basics wellness tips
  • Get some activity every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends External Site American adults get at least 150 minutes of activity per week. ...
  • Up your fruits and veggies. ...
  • Get more sleep. ...
  • Prioritize your mental health. ...
  • Ditch sugary drinks and opt for water instead.

What are five ways to maintain wellness? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  1. Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  2. Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  3. Learn new skills. ...
  4. Give to others. ...
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

What is the process of wellness? ›

What is most important about this definition is the idea that wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth promoting physical, mental, and social well-being. UC Davis has defined 8 dimensions of wellness – emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.

What are the different benefits of health and wellness? ›

Research studies related to wellness indicate that Americans who take good care of themselves and make healthy lifestyle choices are healthier, happier, more productive, miss less work, and have lower healthcare costs.

What is the difference between wellness and mental health? ›

More generally, well-being is just feeling good about yourself and your life. Mental Health is made up of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

What is the difference between health and physical health? ›

Health can be thought of as the state of being free from injury or illness. Physical health means living in a body that is strong, capable, and free of disease.

What is the similarities between wellness and health? ›

Components of Health and Wellness

Both have an element of physical health, for instance. Both also include a mental health component. And each one addresses the importance of social well being or the connections we have with others.

What are the 4 areas of health and wellness? ›

The Four Dimensions
  • Spiritual Wellness. Spiritual strength is that force that drives us to make sacrifices for others, our nation, and the greater good. ...
  • Emotional Wellness. Emotional wellness refers to building an awareness of and accepting one's feelings and moods. ...
  • Physical Wellness. ...
  • Social Wellness.

Does health and wellness include mental health? ›

When talking about health, many people focus almost entirely on physical well-being. In terms of overall health, however, the CDC notes that physical and mental wellness are equally important. Experts note that if just one person in a family suffers from mental health issues, it could impact the entire family.

What is health and examples? ›

Definitions of health by the World Health Organization

This generally accepted definition states that “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (11).

What are the types of health? ›

There are five main aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual.

How is health and wellness related to each other Quora? ›

Both health and wellness are very closely associated with one another. Health is a state of physical and mental well-being, whereas wellness being seven dimensional is a positive approach to live better.


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