June 2022

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Health Capsule

Whole Person Health

Many things affect your health. These include your biological makeup as well as your behavior. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity and sleep, and managing your stress can all help you stay healthy. But your environment matters, too. Where you’re born and grow up, and where you live and work influence your risk for many diseases.

Whole person health looks at all the factors that affect your well-being. Health and disease are not separate things. Instead, you can think of them as a path that’s connected, with health in one direction and disease in the other. Some things move you toward health, and some things lead you away from it. Whole person health emphasizes restoring health, promoting resilience, and preventing diseases.

Understanding how the places you’ve lived impact your health can help you prevent some diseases. Addressing issues as early as possible can help restore your health.

Self-care, a healthy lifestyle, and learning new ways of managing stress can help you stay healthier. Chronic stress can make many diseases worse. These include diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic pain, and depression.

NIH researchers continue to study the connections between lifestyle, diet, biology, health, and disease. Learn more about NIH research on whole person health.