The part can never be well unless the whole is well. –Plato
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. -World Health Organization
The top line: abundant scientific research demonstrates the close connection of the mind and body. Positive lifestyle factors including exercise, nutrition, sunlight, and sleep are associated with improved mental well-being and lower incidence of depression and anxiety.
To learn more about the research on each of these areas and practical tips you can apply to increase your physical health, select one of the topics below:
For additional tips and resources on physical health specific for college students, refer to the online student health and wellness guide.
Learn More about Research on Health, Wellness, and Psychological Well-being:
How were key studies on health, wellness, and psychological well-being selected?
Key studies concerning health were selected according to the methodological rigor, type of investigation, and approach taken in understanding the relationship between sleep, diet, exercise, and psychological well-being. Hassmen’s 2000 study was identified as a key study due to his investigation of the ways in which consistent and frequent exercise become necessary for one's well-being and happiness. Rejeski’s study (2002) was identified as a key study because it had a very specific sample type, obese participants diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), deviating from the norm of college students as the sample. Courneya’s study in 2003 was identified as a key study because it examined the positive association that oxygen input, from exercise, has on the quality of life in breast cancer survivors. Smaldone’s study from 2007 was identified as a key study because it examined the importance of sleep and its relationship to anger, depression, concentration, and physical symptoms in children and adolescents. Hakkarainen’s study in 2004 was identified as a key study because it examined the importance of diet for well-being. The researchers studied older men who participated in smoking. They found that fatty foods often cause depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Monteiro’s study from 2004 was identified as a key study because it discussed how essential a well balanced diet is to quality of life in cancer patients with stage III/IV cancer. Paw’s study from 2002 was identified as a key study because it examined the effects of light exercise and micronutrient supplementation to well-being in older adults. Fuligni’s study in 2006 was identified as a key study because it had a diverse sample size of adolescents and examined the importance of sleep with daily stress. McAuley’s study from 2000 was identified as a key study because it examined two types of exercise in older adults and determined which one was more beneficial to subjective well-being. Fox’s meta-analysis from 1999 was identified as a key study because it compiled several articles on physical activity as well as diet and nutrition. All the articles were examined and then all the conclusions were compared to discover a true answer.