Facts About the Wellness Scale
Wellness basically means, “good health.” As we mentioned when we discussed Facts About the Health Triangle, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), good health considers a person’s mental, social, and physical well being.
A good way to be mindful of your health is to use a Wellness Scale.
A Wellness Scale is a simple scale that gives your overall health a numerical or illustrated value that helps you to see how well you are doing.
A type of Wellness Scale was invented by Dr. John Travis in 1972, called the Illness-Wellness Continuum.
A Wellness Scale differs from a “pain scale” you might see at a doctors’ office that determines a specific symptom, because a Wellness Scale is about your entire wellness as a person from day to day.
A Wellness Scale is useful to determine your overall health, even when you are feeling fine or under the weather from one moment to the next. That’s because it doesn’t just keep track of physical symptoms, but also the choices you make, the things you eat, and daily habits.
Positive or risky behaviors can affect where someone might be on a Wellness Scale, even if they aren’t feeling sick. That is because some behaviors can lead to longer term health problems which aren’t felt until much later.
Wellness Scales can vary in how they look, although they tend to work the same. Dr. John Travis’ scale, the Illness-Wellness Continuum, showed a colored chart that depicted a range from “premature death” on one end, to “high level wellness” on the other.
A simple chart can also be a number scale from 0 to 100, with poor health being at the lower end, and wellness (good health) being on the end with the higher numbers.
Your wellness, and your placement on your Wellness Scale can change day to day. Your chart helps to show that things that you do on purpose can make your health better or worse.
If you decide to be kind to someone today, that can help you rate yourself higher on your Wellness Scale today. That’s because your social and mental health are just as important as your physical health, as all three types of health are connected to each other in the Health Triangle.
Examples of ways to rate higher on the Wellness Scale today would include things like choosing to eat fruits and vegetables instead of sugary or fried snacks, reading, quitting smoking (or deciding not to ever start), talking to someone you trust about your feelings, spending quality time with family members, or doing a fun and safe activity for exercise. These can be things you can control that will help you reach a higher state of wellness.
Constitution of the World Health Organization- Basic Documents, Forty-fifth edition, Supplement, October 2006.
Everyday Learning Corporation. (1999). Totally Awesome Health 4th level. Meeks Heit.
Fair, S. E. (2010). Wellness and Physical Therapy. Jones & Bartlett Learning.