Defining Wellness Is a Good Start For Your Wellness Program

How Do You Define “Wellness”?

how do you define wellnessAustin, Texas: There has been much debate on the true definition or meaning of the word “wellness” on LinkedIn and a few other sites I participate in recently.

Some define it as the absence of disease or sickness.  Others define it as a state of being–including physical, spiritual, mental, social, etc.

If there is no consensus on its meaning” – then perhaps that is why so many wellness programs are doomed to failure from the start.

In my opinion, wellness is a goal that encompasses habits and behaviors, mind set, fitness, diet, and disease and injury.

I think of it in terms of a spectrum encompassing many things – not just one aspect.

If your wellness program is focusing on just sickness or fitness- it is missing the bigger picture.

Total wellness can never be achieved–it can just be strived for.

Focusing on just physical well-being may also fall short–as mental disease and positive mental thoughts are crucial in one’s wellness.

Behavior modification is also crucial. Forcing employees to quit smoking or to lose weight–without incentives and support in encouraging behavioral changes over a period of time will be futile.

People are creatures of habit and cannot effectively change behavior cold-turkey. It needs time, patience, support, coaching and incentive to happen for the long haul.

How does your company define wellness?

How do you define it?

How do your employees define it?

Look at your wellness program from a “total well-being” frame of reference..and then think about what else you can add to it.

What should be taken away from your current program?

How are you adding support, coaching and incentives to your goals?

Keep re-working your program – as total well-being should be continuously strived for.

Here’s to a healthier workforce!


Robert Piller is President of, a leading provider of custom-printed promotional items geared exclusively for wellness programs and wellness incentives. These branded gifts are ideal for wellness incentive rewards, wellness kickoff or announcement gifts or as wellness reminders.

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