Whole Person Health has become the new gold standard approach to overall health and wellness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) uses the term Whole Person Health which looks at the “whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and consider[s] multiple factors that promote either health or disease.” Read their full article. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advances Total Worker Health, which “prioritizes a hazard-free work environment for all workers. It also brings together all aspects of work in integrated interventions that collectively address worker safety, health, and well-being.”
So, depending on who you ask, there are different terms, metrics, and categories that illustrate the concept. Generally, Whole Health, Whole Person Health, and Total Health all refer to a holistic, proactive method of managing health that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing.
Taken together, these descriptions clearly articulate the concept of Whole Health as a proactive, preventive, integrated approach that infuses all aspects of life rather than a reaction to an acute symptom or injury. Forward-thinking healthcare and safety providers are embracing this method across the health spectrum.
The need for Whole Person Health is urgent. The US is in the midst of a health crisis:
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US.
- 73.6% of American adults are overweight, and 42.4% are obese.
- 61% of Americans reported undesired weight gain during the pandemic.
- In 2020, 20% of adults in the US experienced a mental illness.
- In the US in 2020, there were 4 million medically-consulted workplace injuries and 4113 preventable injury-related workplace fatalities.
- 60.2% of Americans aged 12 and older reported abusing alcohol, tobacco, and/or illegal substances.
The bad news: These statistics present significant health and mortality risks as well as profoundly negative impacts on the quality of life for individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
The good news: Whole Person Health is on the rise. Forward-thinking, innovative leaders are setting a new standard for health and safety services with this model. A Whole Health team of healthcare providers, including Wellness Coaches, Registered Dietitians, and clinical service providers, can deliver positive outcomes with regard to physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Increasingly, this model is being implemented in organizations across the US.
To learn how you can deliver Whole Person Health to your team, please contact us!