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

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