Understanding Functional Wellness: A Guide for Employees


Functional wellness is a critical aspect of overall well-being that often gets overlooked in today’s fast-paced work culture. As an employee, you may find it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which may lead to physical and mental exhaustion and poor health. Therefore, prioritizing functional wellness is essential for helping you perform your best in – and out – of the workplace. In this article, we’ll explore what functional wellness is, its key components, and how to achieve it. We’ll also discuss the impact of functional wellness on job performance and offer strategies to overcome common obstacles to achieving it. So, whether you’re a busy manager or a new worker, read on to gain insights into how to prioritize your functional wellness in the workplace.

What is Functional Wellness?

Functional wellness refers to the state of optimal physical and mental health necessary to perform daily activities and achieve overall well-being. It involves maintaining a balance between the various dimensions of wellness, including physical, emotional, social, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual health. This type of wellness aims to enhance one’s ability to carry out daily activities efficiently and effectively. Functional wellness strives to eliminate unnecessary health issues to make your life smoother and easier. Achieving this kind of wellness requires a holistic approach to health that may involve lifestyle changes, shifting health focuses, and prioritizing healthy habits.  Dr. Jenna Valentine, DACM, LAc notes that even a few small lifestyle shifts can make a huge difference over time in optimizing health and preventing further health issues down the road. 


The benefits of focusing on functional wellness are numerous and far-reaching. Functional wellness can enhance physical fitness, improve mental clarity and concentration, increase energy levels, and promote overall well-being. These physical and mental improvements can help reduce your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and obesity. This improved health can help improve work productivity and job satisfaction.  Ultimately, functional wellness allows individuals to lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives inside and outside the workplace.

How to Achieve Functional Wellness

Achieving optimal physical and mental wellness can seem overwhelming due to the holistic approach that you must take. Here are the overarching areas that you should address to achieve wellness:

    • Prioritize physical health. This includes engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, and managing alcohol and tobacco intake.
    • Improve mental health. Improving your mental health can mean many different things to different people. In general, seek to reduce your stress and engage in activities that promote happiness and relaxation.
    • Practice work-life balance. Be sure to set boundaries between your working hours and your personal life. 
    • Invest in personal and professional development. This can greatly improve personal and professional happiness. This investment can include pursuing education, learning new skills, and setting goals to achieve personal and professional growth.
    • Engage in community-based activities. This includes volunteering, engaging in social activities, and developing a sense of purpose and belonging.
    • Consider complementary medicine. Many wellness resources may be utilized as adjunct modalities to support overall health and well-being. Acupuncture, Chiropractic care, and massage therapy are all available in most areas.  


By adopting habits within these categories, you can improve your overall mental and physical wellness.

Common Obstacles

There are many obstacles to achieving functional wellness but overcoming these obstacles is crucial for individuals to maintain a healthy and balanced life. Common obstacles to achieving wellness include a lack of time, work-related stress, an unhealthy work environment, a lack of social support, and financial barriers.


To overcome these obstacles, try setting aside specific time to engage in activities that promote physical and mental wellness. You can also seek support from your colleagues and the HR department to address work-related stress and cultivate a more positive and supportive workplace environment. Everyone will face unique obstacles in their functional wellness journey, so it is important to take a holistic view of your approach and address each issue as it comes along.

If you’re looking for additional support in achieving functional wellness, The Corporate Wellness Initiative can help. Their mission is to provide individuals and organizations with the resources and tools necessary to prioritize wellness in the workplace. By partnering with The Corporate Wellness Initiative, you’ll have access to a variety of wellness programs and services designed to help you overcome common obstacles and improve your functional wellness. Don’t wait to prioritize your well-being. Contact The Corporate Wellness Initiative today to learn more about how they can help you achieve your wellness goals.

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