Wellness refers to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Living well is an ongoing process that requires balance and the constant need to focus on different aspects of living in a healthy manner. A wellness assessment should be taken regularly by anyone who wishes to live the most well-rounded lifestyle possible. Wellness assessments vary, but most consist of between five and seven different categories of wellness. Each category contains several questions pertaining to individual lifestyle.
The different categories on a wellness assessment can include physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental and spiritual wellness. If a person is physically well, he or she lives an active life with a balanced diet and regular exercise. The person is neither overweight nor underweight, combines aerobic exercise with muscular-strengthening exercise, has a normal range of body fat — which differs depending on age — manages stress in a healthy way, avoids the addictive effects of caffeine, alcohol and drugs, and takes action to prevent disease and illness to the body. Physical health will also focus on any illness and disease in the body including heart, brain, and renal health.
A wellness assessment can also evaluate if a person is emotionally healthy. This includes appropriately expressing or retaining emotions, accepting personal limitations, taking the blame for individual feelings and behavior, and appreciating individual worth. This category can serve as a health-risk assessment and can be a red flag if a patient is suffering from a mental illness such as depression.
The social component of a wellness assessment analyzes the relationship a person shares with the rest of the world. It tests how outgoing a person is, how much consideration he or she gives to others and their feelings, and the way a person communicates with family, friends and strangers. Intellectual wellness involves the depths of thought and understanding that occur internally. It explores methods of learning, ambition, risk-taking capacity, the formulation of ideas and political, social, religious and ethical beliefs, and the appreciation of the creative arts.
An environmental wellness assessment refers to the choices an individual makes to preserve the quality of life on earth. An environmentally sound individual recycles, does not litter and limits energy and water use. Spiritual wellness refers to living life with a higher sense of the purpose of existence. A spiritual wellness assessment looks at how well a person combines belief with action. Questions on this component of a health assessment seek to ensure that a person appreciates life, recognizes spiritual paths and traditions, lives out an individual spiritual practice and appreciates the unique beliefs of all people.
A wellness assessment can be taken by an individual on the Internet, or it may be administered by a company to determine employee wellness. This information can be used for studies on corporate wellness as a whole or on worksite wellness within a particular organization. The more information a person fills out on such an assessment, the more accurate the results will be. Individuals should complete a wellness assessment honestly and to the best of his or her ability to allow for lifestyle changes based on the results.