Wellness Dictionary

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Wellness Dictionary 2017-07-03T08:03:45+00:00

Dictionary of Wellness Terms

Dictionary of Wellness Terms


Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from work.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight relative to height. BMI can be used to assess whether people are at a healthy weight, overweight or obese. BMI is determined by dividing a person’s body weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is health data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from all 50 states.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an agency of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC develops disease prevention and control, environmental health and health promotion and educational activities designed to improve the health of people of the United States.

Determinants of Health

Determinants of health include the range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors which determine the health status of individuals or populations. More


Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is not able to use blood glucose (sugar). Blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone in the body that helps move glucose from the blood to muscles and other tissues. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin that is made.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a life-long condition in which the pancreas stops making insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot use glucose for energy. To treat the disease, a person must inject insulin, follow a diet plan, exercise daily and test blood sugar several times a day. Type 1 diabetes usually begins before the age of 30.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is also known as “adult-onset diabetes,” type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but either do not make enough insulin or do not use the insulin they make. Most people who have this type of diabetes are overweight. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes may be able to control their condition by losing weight through diet and exercise. They may also need to inject insulin or take medicine while following a healthy program of diet and exercise. Although type 2 diabetes commonly occurs in adults, an increasing number of children and adolescents who are overweight are also developing type 2 diabetes.

Disease Management

Disease Management is a process that reduces health care costs and improves the quality of life enjoyed by individuals with chronic disease conditions, by minimizing the symptoms of the disease.

Disease Prevention

Disease Prevention is to teach or promote methods and/or measures that have been proven effective in avoiding illness and/or lessening its effects.  More

Empowerment For Health

Empowerment for Health is a process in Health Promotion through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. More


Health is defined in the WHO constitution of 1948 as: A state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. More

Health Behavior

Health Behavior is any activity undertaken by an individual, regardless of actual or perceived health status, for the purpose of promoting, protecting or maintaining health, whether or not such behavior is objectively effective towards that end. More

Health Care

Health Care is the provision of services that helps individuals achieve an optimal state of well-being, in any setting or stage in the human life cycle.

Health Communication

Health communication is a key strategy to inform the public about health concerns and to maintain important health issues on the public agenda. The use of the mass and multimedia and other technological innovations to disseminate useful health information to the public, increases awareness of specific aspects of individual and collective health as well as importance of health in development.

Health Education

Health Education comprises consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health.  More

Health Indicator

A Health indicator is a characteristic of an individual, population, or environment which is subject to measurement (directly or indirectly) and can be used to describe one or more aspects of the health of an individual or population (quality, quantity and time). More

Health Literacy

Health Literacy represents the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health. More

Health Outcomes

Health Outcomes are a change in the health status of an individual, group or population which is attributable to a planned intervention or series of interventions, regardless of whether such an intervention was intended to change health status. More

Health Promotion

Health Promotion is the provision of information and/or education to individuals, families, and communities that-encourage family unity, community commitment, and traditional spirituality, that make positive contributions to their health status. Health Promotion is also the promotion of healthy ideas and concepts to motivate individuals to adopt healthy behaviors.  More

Health Promoting Hospitals

A health promoting hospital does not only provide high quality comprehensive medical and nursing services, but also develops a corporate identity that embraces the aims of health promotion, develops a health promoting organizational structure and culture, including active, participatory roles for patients and all members of staff, develops itself into a health promoting physical environment and actively cooperates with its community.

Health Promoting Schools

Health promoting schools can be characterized as a school constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working. More

Health Risk Appraisal (HRA)

A Health risk Appraisal is a tool used to determine a person’s risk of future health problems.


Incidence is the number of new cases of a disease diagnosed each year.

Normal Weight

Normal Weight is having a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.


Obese is having a high amount of body fat; having a BMI of 30 or higher.


Overweight is being too heavy for one’s height; having a BMI between 25 and 29.


Presenteeism is decreased productivity from employees at work. Obesity and obesity-related illnesses have a negative effect on work functions such as performing certain tasks more slowly, repeating tasks or making mistakes. Many tasks that require physical activity cannot be accomplished because of illness or pain.


Prevalence is the percentage of new and old cases of a disease existing in a population at a given time.

Primary Health Care

Primary Health Care is is essential health care made accessible at a cost a country and community can afford, with methods that are practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable. More

Risk Factors

Risk Factors are traits or habits that make a person more likely to develop disease. Some risk factors can be controlled (weight or eating habits), while others (age and gender) cannot.


Definitions taken from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic