Definition: A dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being; a way of life which equips the individual to realize the full potential of his/her capabilities and to overcome and compensate for weaknesses; a lifestyle which recognizes the importance of nutrition, physical fitness, stress reduction, and self-responsibility.
Wellness has been viewed as the result of four key factors over which an individual has varying degrees of control: human biology, environment, health care organization and lifestyle. Preventive medicine associated with lifestyle and preventive care that can reduce health- care utilization and costs.
"Wellness" programs became popular with the advent of managed care in the 1980s, with the philosophy and business idea that health plans needed to emphasize keeping their beneficiaries well.
However, there has been a drop off in these programs in the 1990s as health plans recognize the difficulty in assessing efficacy and they found that subscribers tend to change plans regularly, thus reducing benefit of keeping one population "well".