Defining Health and Wellness

If you enter the terms “health and wellness” in an online search engine, numerous definitions will appear. One of the most widely used definitions of health and wellness was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and is still used today. WHO defines health and wellness as “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease” (WHO, 2012). There may be varying perspectives that define health and wellness and those different perspectives or definitions can influence health behavior in multiple ways.

For this paper, you explore varying definitions of health and wellness and think about how they might influence your own health behavior as you create or refine your own definition.

To prepare :

  • Review Chapter 1 in Health: The basics, 13th edition. Consider the definitions of health and wellness and how it may assist you in defining your personal health and wellness.
  • Review the article “The development and initial validation of a new measure of lay definitions of health: The Wellness Beliefs Scale.” Think about your definitions of health and wellness.
  • Review the website and explore “About Healthy People” and “2020 Topics and Objectives” tabs. Also explore “In This Section” topics. Reflect on the definition of health and wellness, and how that may be generalized to the nation at large.

  • Review the multimedia piece “Dimensions of Health Wheel.” Select the different Dimensions of Health available and pay particular attention to the varying perspectives on health and wellness, and factors that may influence individual definitions.
  • Select two people from the multimedia piece “Dimensions of Health Wheel.” Consider their definitions of health and wellness.
  • Select two people in your community (i.e. family members, friends, co-workers) and ask the following questions:
    • What is your definition of health?
    • What do you believe are characteristics of a healthy person?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post your definition of health and wellness. Then, explain the similarities and differences between your definitions of health and wellness and those of the two people you interviewed and the two people you chose from the “Dimensions of Health Wheel” multimedia piece. Finally, explain how these definitions might influence individual health behavior. (+ 500 words)


Donatelle, R. J. (2019). Health: The basics (13th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson.

  • Chapter 1, “Accessing Your Health”

Bishop, F., & Yardley, L. (2010). The development and initial validation of a new measure of lay definitions of health: The wellness beliefs scale. Psychology & Health, 25(3), 271–287.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Kirsten, T.G.J.C., Van der Walt, H.J.L., & Viljoen, C.T. (2009). Health, well-being and wellness: An anthropological eco-systematic approach. Health SA Gesondheid, 14(1), 1–7.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. (2012). Retrieved from

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Personal Health and Wellness: Dimensions of Health Wheel [Multimedia], Baltimore, MD: Author.

  • Dimensions of Health: Week 1

Expert Solution Preview


The concept of health and wellness has been defined in numerous ways over the years, which can influence how individuals perceive and behave towards their health. This paper aims to explore varying definitions of health and wellness and how it might influence individual health behavior.


According to my understanding, health and wellness are the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, including the absence of disease. This definition aligns with the World Health Organization’s definition of health and wellness, which is still being used today. After reviewing the sources, I decided to delve deeper into this concept and compare it with those of others around me.

After conducting interviews and selecting two individuals from the “Dimensions of Health Wheel,” I realized that some similarities and differences exist between my definition and theirs. One of the individuals I selected from the wheel emphasized emotional wellness, whereas the other highlighted spiritual wellness. My friends and family members’ definitions ranged from physical and mental fitness to social interaction and financial stability.

Interestingly, we all shared the belief that health and wellness extend beyond the absence of disease or being free of physical ailments. We also believed that wellness incorporates a combination of elements such as emotional, intellectual, environmental, occupational, financial, spiritual, physical, and social aspects. However, the differing perspectives illustrate that each individual’s understanding of health and wellness might vary, leading to various types of health behaviors.

Influence on individual health behavior

The various definitions we perceive, and the priorities we hold, might influence our health behaviors. For instance, emphasizing spiritual wellness might lead one person to participate in religious activities, while another person might focus on enhancing emotional wellness by engaging in meditation. I realized that people tend to prioritize aspects of health and wellness that are most relevant to them, based on their personal experiences, beliefs, and values.

In conclusion, understanding varying perspectives of health and wellness is an essential foundation for shaping health behaviors. As I move forward, I will acknowledge and consider other definitions of health and wellness as I continue to refine and prioritize my own definition.

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