Important Things You Need To Know About The Difference Between Health And Wellness

Updated on March 13, 2020
Young woman running in the park. Active person outdoors at the dusk in summer

It’s common to encounter the terms health and wellness getting thrown together on television ads, magazines, and even over the internet. One reason for it is the prevalent promotion of wellness programs for better health anywhere.

While it’s true that there are instances where you can interchange the two terms, knowing the difference between them is essential. It helps you make the right decisions in terms of your overall well-being. For example, a person could be physically healthy but not well. On the other hand, an individual could live with a disease yet practice wellness to enhance his/her overall health.

Here are three important things you need to know about the difference between health and wellness:

1. Health Focuses More On Diseases While Wellness Focuses On Balance

The original definition of health is just the absence of disease. But today, health isn’t only all about being physically well anymore; a healthy person should also be mentally good. One of the significant differences between the terms health and wellness is that the former is the state of being, while the latter is about striking the perfect balance among health’s six components. 

Health only focuses on how to keep the body free of diseases, and it’s the reason why health centers aim to treat various kinds of body ailments that a patient has. Wellness, on the other hand, is all about living a healthy lifestyle. There are six different wellness components according to experts. For an individual to achieve well-being, all of these components should mix. These are spiritual health, environmental health, social health, intellectual health, emotional or mental health, and, of course, physical health.

2. Wellness Is A Choice, Health Isn’t

The state of your health is something that you can’t choose. For example, some health conditions are mainly genetic, including blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some people are even born with heart disease, while others have a predisposition towards diabetes. Accidents can also cause injuries that may last a lifetime.

Wellness, however, is a choice. You can choose to engage in exercise routines regularly as a way of managing health conditions. You can also decide to quit smoking and take your medications as prescribed. You can also schedule a meeting with a therapist to receive assistance regarding some issues with your mental state. 

Wellness is more like a way to work towards better health actively. It’s a way to take control of your body and mind. While it’s true that no one can be in a perfect health condition, everyone can make a conscious effort in improving wellness to feel better. Working towards better health is also beneficial as it means shelling out less money in healthcare costs.

3. Health Is More Of A Goal That One Can Achieve As Opposed To Wellness

How is health a goal while wellness isn’t? It’s because wellness isn’t an end that you can achieve; it’s a lifestyle you choose to have. It means striving for balance throughout your whole life. It’s an action that you can take to achieve health. Health here is the outcome, and it’s something that you can have if you practice wellness.  

Health is a goal because it can be that an individual wants to start losing weight, lowering blood pressure, or stopping acne breakout as a new year resolution. Once a person achieves his/her goals, he/she can consider herself healthy and then stop all her efforts. Wellness doesn’t work like that since it’s a dynamic concept; it continues for a lifetime. Wellness is all about continuous work for balance no matter what happens along the way, and it holds even if you contract a severe disease.

Final Thoughts

You are probably healthy if your mind and body are disease-free. But always remember that wellness is a balance that you should always continually strive to maintain. It’s the balancing act between the intellectual, environmental, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and physical aspects of your life that dictates your wellness. Wellness doesn’t end since it’s a daily effort. Unlike health, wellness is a constant work in progress rather than a fixed goal to achieve.

Nevertheless, both the state of your health and wellness are crucial to your well-being. You’re better able to design the goals that work well for you and start engaging in a dynamic process of change once you understand the difference between health and wellness. Don’t only make an effort to achieve physical and mental health, also aim to experience what’s real wellness. That way, you can exploit your full potential, leading to a great life. 

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.