The 8 Dimensions of Health represents a view of health

in which many factors contribute to one's overall wellness and well-being. In the past, health had been defined as relating to the physical body in terms of the presence or lack of pain, illness, disease. Today, the concept of health has grown to include more than the condition of one's physical body and the absence of disease. The 8 Dimensions of Health acknowledge that beyond the body, the quality of one's mental state, interactions with others, regular living and work environments, career pursuits, hobbies and other stimulating areas of personal interest and expression, financial stability, and system of beliefs and values all have a role in determining well-being. This belief states that each of these factors can influence one's overall health, and that these factors are not isolated from each other. Instead, any combination of these factors can be connected at any given point in time.


Building Blocks of Health

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Physical health refers directly to the body and its condition. One's physical health is influenced by nutrition and diet, physical activity, sexual activity, sleep, and medical conditions. The state of physical health is often visible through one's outward appearance, but can also relate to the internal systems of the body as they are affected by disease, illness, injury, stress, and weight maintenance.


Mental health relates directly to emotions, and includes coping mechanisms, self-evaluation, and temperament. The ability to react well to change and to maintain a positive mindset has a direct impact on mental health. Mental health conditions occur internally and can be determined through psychological evaluation, and may or may not be outwardly visible to others.


Intellectual health refers to activities that stimulate the mind and includes many forms of personal expression. Aspects of intellectual health include learning and using life skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, organization, and problem-solving. These skills can be applied to a variety of creative pursuits, often for the purpose of expressing oneself.


Social health is impacted by interactions and relationships with others. The quality of these interactions and relationships are largely affected by social skills including assertiveness, behavior, communication, empathy, kindness, listening, and patience. These relationships can have varying levels of importance and serve as a system of support.


Environmental health frequently refers to the condition of the earth and atmosphere. The availability of resources, cleanliness of air and water, climate conditions, and management of waste all contribute to the earth's environment. Environmental health also refers to one's personal surroundings that include home, community, work, and other living conditions.


Financial health relates directly to money and resources one has at their disposal. Education and occupation play a significant role in one's finances by impacting the ability to earn money. Planning and maintaining a budget, saving for the future, making investments, limiting unnecessary expenses to avoid debt, and living within one's means also affect financial health.


Spiritual health is often tied to faith and religiousness, though one can be spiritual without being religious. Spirituality relates directly to the beliefs, morals, principles, and values that govern one's everyday life. Skills such as mindfulness and self-awareness play a role in spirituality, and can anchor one's sense of well-being and inner peace.


Occupational health is the pursuit of a job or career that provides one with a sense of fulfillment and personal enrichment. The ability to be productive can be influenced by a variety of conditions in the workplace including demands and expectations, the nature of the work, the layout and organization of the work space, safety, and the structure of the business.