The National Wellness Institute defines "wellness" as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” Wellness is intentional—people must decide to make healthier choices. Therefore, workplace wellness programs exist to encourage and assist employees in taking steps to be well.
The concept of wellness encompasses every aspect of our lives. Bill Hettler, MD, cofounder of the National Wellness Institute (http://www.nationalwellness.org
), has developed a model called The Six Dimensions of Wellness,
which is generally accepted by the wellness community. The six dimensions are:
• Physical. Bodily health through exercise, nutrition, and abstaining from harmful activities, such as smoking
• Emotional. Emotional health through learning to recognize, express, and control feelings and moods
• Intellectual. Mental health through developing creativity, learning ability, and problem-solving skills
• Occupational. Job satisfaction through learning individual aptitudes and skills and finding meaning in work
• Social. Community connections through learning the part we play in our interconnected world
• Spiritual. Larger life questions through learning to choose and live by a set of values that give meaning to our lives
States that provide a tax credit for employers that implement wellness programs include:
Maine. Employers with 20 or fewer employees are allowed an annual tax credit of up to $100 per employee or $2,000, whichever is less (ME Rev. Stat. Tit. 36 Sec. 5219-FF).
Massachusetts. State law provides an annual tax credit of up to $10,000 for instituting wellness programs (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 62 Sec. 6N). The law will be repealed effective December 31, 2017.