Defining Wellness Policy

Why this report?

Since its inception, GWI has embraced the vision of “empowering wellness worldwide.” Even as we study and advocate for the $4.4 trillion wellness economy, we also recognize that the private wellness market and consumer action alone cannot bring about wellness for all. Not everyone has the resources, motivation, knowledge, or enabling environment to do so. Public policy is essential to fill these gaps. This realization is the genesis of this report and the forthcoming GWI Wellness Policy Series.


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What is in this report?

This is the first-ever study to define wellness policy and argue for why it is needed. Using GWI’s wellness economy data, the report provides, for the first time, a quantitative analysis showing the positive relationship between wellness spending, happiness, and health outcomes across countries. It makes a compelling case for why wellness policy is essential not only for governments, but also for businesses. The report situates wellness policy in the context of several major global movements that have been working toward improved human health and well-being. It articulates how wellness policy can complement public health and health policy, as well as support the happiness/well-being policy efforts that are gathering steam in different parts of the world.

Who is this report for?

If you are a government leader, this report will make the case for why wellness policy is crucial for your citizens’ health and well-being (whether your country is ready to reorient national priorities toward well-being or not). If you are a policymaker or public servant, this report will provide ideas on how you can advance the cause of wellness, working within existing policy siloes, departments, and funding structures. If you are a private business or nonprofit, this report shows why you should care about wellness policy, become an advocate, and partner with governments and communities. If you are a concerned citizen or community member seeking to advocate for wellness, this study provides the framework and compelling evidence to make your case.

What next?

This report sets the stage for a series of Wellness Policy Toolkits, to be released by GWI in 2023. The toolkits will address seven domains of wellness: physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellness, traditional and complementary medicine, wellness in the built environment, wellness at work, and wellness in tourism. Each toolkit will address both the why and how of wellness policy: What is the rationale and need for wellness policy action in each domain? How can stakeholders (governments, businesses, communities, nonprofits) take action to address important issues and gaps? This report and the toolkits are intended to be just the beginning of a cross-cutting, global conversation. We hope that they will spark a wellness policy movement that can be championed by any interested stakeholder groups.

For more information, see GWI’s Wellness Policy Series | Download Report Graphics