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Wellness: Dimensions and Definitions

Recently, more organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are becoming more concerned about the health and well being of their employees. Apparently healthy employees make the difference between success and failure and ultimately the survival of many workplaces. Sick and absent workers make it very difficult to compete on the world market stage, whether it is goods or human resources. The effects of poor health are not only felt at the workplace but also in the home where relationships get strained and broken. Health as defined by Molinsky is "The absence of disease or infirmity", whereas wellness defined by the World Health Organization is "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being". Wellness is more than health and definitely more than not being sick! How then do we define wellness? Some institutions have developed programs based on the dimensions of exercise, nutrition, stress management, environmental awareness and self-responsibility. Other organizations insist that wellness should include the dimensions of cognitive, sensing, connecting (with others), emotions and sense of purpose. The National Wellness Association* describes wellness through the following dimensions: physical, spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual. Regardless of which system you value most in defining wellness; the majority seem to support a holistic approach. Human beings are made up of parts but function as a whole. Any decision or program to be healthier must take into consideration all the dimensions of wellness for it to be truly meaningful and successful. *National Wellness Association -definitions of wellness:

Wellness is a choice-a decision you make to move toward optimal health. Wellness is a process-a developing awareness that there is no end point, only that health and happiness are possible in each moment of the here and now. Wellness is an efficient channelling of energy, energy received from the environment, transformed within you, and sent on to affect the world outside. Wellness is a way of life-a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well-being. Wellness is the living acceptance of yourself. Wellness is the living acceptance of yourself. Wellness is multidimensional embracing physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social and work dimensions. Wellness is a process, not a solution. It is a journey, not a destination.