Defining Wellness for the Workplace

May 20, 2018

What is wellness? The answer continually varies. The word 'health' is defined as being free from disease and illness. Wellness widens that health intention with action. Wellness is ongoing and may result in building a sculpted body or maintaining your practice in meditation or yoga. It may even motivate you to create a wellness Instagram profile, which is a powerful tool to keep you accountable and inspirational for others to follow suit.


Staying well is a practice. It takes time, patience, audacity, mental will, and focus. We follow fitness enthusiasts because we understand that wellness will make our lives better. Past behavior has taught us that practicing wellness makes us feel better; we know that making certain shifts in our diet or lifestyle makes us feel more productive, even if just for a few days.


What will make this wellness shift consistent is being around people who are motivated by the same wellness kick. And the best place to find like-minded peers is in a workplace culture that advocates wellness. It’s not going to be a perfect journey to optimal wellness, but taking an honest, active approach is the right direction.


The wellness term is amazingly subjective and intuitive to each person. It allows an open discussion between HR and employee to explore what health and wellness means. The key to understanding and conceptualizing wellness traits is to structure them into manageable categories. According to Pan American Health Organization, (PAHO), “Wellness is defined as a dynamic process of becoming aware of and making conscious choices toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. It includes learning new life skills that address both the positive and negative aspects of human existence.” PAHO defines wellness into seven dimensions: SPECIES (Social, Physical, Emotional, Career, Intellectual, Environmental, Spiritual). (2) Companies who plan to invest in a wellness program should strive to implement each of these dimensions of wellness. It will make it easier for your company to perceive wellness on a spectrum and how each dimension of the spectrum builds on the other. For example, the social dimension is easily neglected in