People are empowered through health and wellness to embrace their life’s potential.
Health and wellness is about each individual’s responsibility to themselves to make good choices, and proactive and preventative approaches to health that support optimum levels of physical, emotional and social functioning – living a nondestructive lifestyle, focusing on purposefully positive health and a fostering sense of general well-being. The foundation of health and wellness should be a socially accessible, culturally sensitive public and professional understanding of the most pressing health issues today – including awareness of risks and preventative measures to address cancer, cardiovascular health, STIs, obesity, nutrition, diabetes, chemical exposure, accidents and violence, to name just a few of the range of actual and potential health threats.
Wellness is a process of becoming aware of and learning to make healthy choices that lead toward a longer and more fulfilling life. It is the recognition of the deep interconnections between physiological health and the psychological, physical, spiritual and social needs that are necessary for us to enjoy higher levels of human functioning.
To some, an improvement in health may simply arise from having an opportunity to eat, or to live in proper housing that isn’t overcrowded, and to live in a disease free environment that isn’t polluted with the industrial toxic chemicals that may be driving the economic development upon which they are dependent.
While health and wellness is a booming global industry, we are still falling short in educating world citizens on nutrition and lifestyle, how to avoid stress on the job, and how to be healthy and avoid disease. A clean and healthy environment, a safe workplace, access to nutritious unprocessed foods, housing and healthcare are the foundations of a healthy life and well-being that is adequate in any and all economic socio-economic circumstances.
Medical research along with new drugs and vaccines, safer more nutritious food and health practices will help to determine the answer, but what will be the social dependencies which determine success or failure of medical programs and interventions?
None of the large and important questions about the relations between health and society can be tackled from single-disciplinary perspectives. For instance, how can health communications, particularly using the new social media, create a global health education classroom? How will the worldwide population finally acquire access to vaccines for common diseases? Will occupational health and safety follow economic and industrial development globally? Will research on aging give us longer, more productive lives or rather a longer non-productive life expectancy with no joy? Can cultural and ancestry-based personal medicine help eradicate disease?
When global health and wellness is achieved, a paradox comes with success. With health and a safer, less toxic world comes increased life expectancy, lower infant mortality, larger populations placing additional stress on economies, higher per capita medical care, housing, food and water production, and immunization programs for possible new pandemics.
Societies as a whole, governments and those involved in interdisciplinary medical research, public safety and community environmental health and literacy have an obligation to join together to solve the problems of today while at the same time planning for the problems arising from those successes.