The importance of Health & Wellness is increasing in all aspects of business today, from supporting employees in the workplace, to meeting customer expectations surrounding healthy lifestyle options, products, and services. Today, Health & Wellness is becoming more visible in companies as an important business strategy that positively impacts their organizations, employees, customers, and communities.
The term “wellness” has been applied in many ways, and it is much more than just physical health, exercise, and nutrition. The Six Dimensions of Wellness is a model developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, cofounder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI). Founded in 1977, NWI was formed to promote Health & Wellness, and to provide wellness professionals with resources that fuel professional and personal growth.
Although there might be different views on what wellness encompasses, NWI, along with the help of leaders in Health & Wellness, shared many interpretations of wellness. Through this discussion, NWI found general agreement that:
- Wellness is a conscious,self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential.
- Wellness is multidimensional and holistic; it is an encompassing lifestyle that includes mental and spiritual wellbeing, as well as the environment.
- Wellness is positive and affirming.
NWI’s interdependent model of wellness provides the categories from which NWI derives its resources and services. The following defines NWI’s tenets for each of its six dimensions.
- It is better to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, andbeliefs than to select one that is unrewarding to us.
- It is better to develop functional, transferable skills through structured involvement opportunities than to remain inactive and uninvolved.
- It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it.
- It is better tobe physically fit than out of shape.
- It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
- It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.
- It is better to stretch and challenge our minds with intellectual and creative pursuits than to become self-satisfied and unproductive.
- It is better to identify potential problemsand choose appropriate courses of action based on information than to wait, worry, and contend vwith major concerns later.
- It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
- It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.
- It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them.
- It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic.
NWI’s belief is that by applying the model, a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living.
Read the full white paper on Health and Wellness – “Making its way to business Strategy.”