The terms health and wellness are commonly thrown together, thanks in large part to the prevalence of wellness programs promoting higher health in the workplace. It’s simple to work out how the 2 terms may be interchangeable, however the difference between health and wellness is very important.
Wellness programs largely focus on the idea of preventative care, which is primarily designed to save policyholders (and employers) money in the future (though several employers sadly sink a lot of cash and time into wellness programs without any strategy whatsoever). The general idea is that if people are getting regular checkups, adhering to their prescribed medication regimen, and getting counseled vaccines, health issues will either be utterly prevented or a minimum of managed before they become very expensive.
Although it’s fair to say that one of the goals of wellness programs is to form individuals healthier, there’s a distinction between health and wellness. Therefore let’s dive into this and why it matters.
The Distinction Between Health and Wellness
According to the World Health Organization, “Health may be a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity.” In alternative words, your health is regarding much a lot of than physical ailments — it’s regarding emotional and social fitness, too.
On the other hand, wellness is the “active method of changing into tuned in to and making decisions toward a healthy and fulfilling life. […] a dynamic process of change and growth.” The two ideas aren’t opposites, but rather go hand in hand in one’s quest toward complete well-being.
Essentially, if health is the goal, wellness is the method we have a tendency to might achieve it. Wellness is the action while (good) health is the desired outcome.
Why it Matters
We can’t always select the state of our health. High cholesterol and blood pressure are largely genetic. Folks are born with heart disease and a predisposition toward diabetes. Accidents cause injuries that last a lifetime. However wellness, on the opposite hand, may be a selection.
We have a tendency to will choose to exercise regularly to manage our health conditions (where possible). We have a tendency to can choose to quit smoking and to take our medications as prescribed. We can see a therapist when our mental state needs some help.
Wellness could be a approach for us to actively work toward higher health. A approach to take some management of our bodies and minds. Even though none people can ever be in “excellent” health, creating a conscious effort to boost our wellness will create us feel higher — and ultimately, value us less cash in healthcare prices down the road.
Health vs. Wellness within the Workplace
For employers, understanding the distinction between health and wellness is vital as a result of it informs the company communications you’ve got together with your workforce. Many people want to live healthier lives, but aren’t sure of how to go about it.
Taking this opportunity to teach them concerning wellness and how straightforward lifestyle changes like substituting water for soda, taking a walk during breaks rather than sitting, and packing a lunch instead of ordering out can help individuals achieve their health goals.
Even better, get specific. Rather than educating your workforce on healthy eating, acknowledge that your workforce sometimes goes out to lunch. Find the 10 most frequented restaurants around your office and educate staff on the healthiest menu items at every institution. Or, rather than reminding your workforce of the benefits of walking, map out several lunchtime walking loops of different distances around your office.
The lower their health risks, the better they’ll feel, which has a trickle-down impact for you — healthy workers use less sick time, that makes them a lot of productive. In addition, the lower the chance pool, the additional stable your healthcare costs can become.
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