What Is The Difference Between Health and Wellness?

Health and wellness are often used together and maybe sometimes interchangeably. However, there are slight differences between health and wellness. In this article, we will discuss some of the differences between health and wellness. So, read on to know what it means to be healthy and what wellness entails.

What is Health and the Wellness Difference?

Health is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. Also, health is that which describes a person’s mental or physical condition. So, one can be in good health, we say that the person is healthy. Or when someone has a poor or bad health condition, we say they are sick.

Health can be local or global and there might be times when someone may not know that their health is already deteriorating. For instance, someone might say they are healthy but the doctors may discover worrying issues with an internal body organ. In some cases, health can be reported based on a local part of the body.

Sociologists have observed some problems with the definition of health which is why there are slight differences in the definitions. The Constitution of the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” The constitution further restates the notion of the complexity of definition based on the presence and absence of diseases.

The position of the World Health Organization people tends to lean towards the idea of accepting that health definition cannot be complete. Therefore, there should be attention to the promotion of health. In effect, this leads to placing value on total wellbeing rather than the mere absence of disease.

A broad perspective on health often leads to the subject of wellness.

What is Wellness and the Difference from Health Definitions?

The World Health Organization defines wellness as the “optimal state of health of individuals and groups.”  

The definition further explains that “there are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, and economically, and the fulfillment of one’s roles and expectations in the family, community, place of worship, and other settings.”

Wellness definitions are not without criticisms as well but have less of it compared to the definition of health.

The key difference between health and wellness is that in defining health the focus is on the state or condition, whereas, wellness entails the processes and ways to enhance good health and maintaining wellbeing.

Wellness tends to move a step higher from the notion of subjective definition of health to a more objective one. While discussing health and ways of maintaining health need to include promoting a healthy lifestyle, wellness already encompasses these steps and the processes as the main content of its definition.


In discussing health, it is best to follow the wellness approach to ensure that you attain the optimal state of health. After all, there is a world view that prevention is better than cure. And the wellness approach to healthy living best addresses ways to enhance wellbeing and or prevent a bad state of health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *