Public Health Approach to Human Flourishing

The Rationale for Selecting Public Health as the Transdisciplinary Approach

Public health was chosen as the transdisciplinary approach to understanding human WB because this factor is highly crucial in establishing people’s flourishing or the lack of happiness. Public health is a significant component of WB since it encourages healthy lifestyle practices in various environments (“What is public health?” n.d.). The American Public Health Association (APHA) emphasizes the role of public health professionals in the formation of a positive outlook and a healthy life. Thus, the APHA, first of all, works hard on preventing citizens from becoming ill (“What is public health?” n.d.). Additionally, public health professionals, including health educators, community planners, occupational health professionals, nutritionists, social workers, and others, promote WB through the encouragement of people to engage in healthy behaviors.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), every individual has a unique set of needs, the fulfillment of which makes one’s WB increase (“Your healthiest self,” 2018). Not only the person’s body and mind affect WB but also such issues as the environment and those with whom one interacts regularly. The wellness toolkits suggested by the NIH include the surroundings, feelings, physical form, relationships, and the defense against illnesses (“Your healthiest self,” 2018). Such wellness toolkits incorporate the most crucial aspects people need to feel better. The NIH emphasizes access to healthcare resources as an important factor of raining WB. Even such a seemingly common problem as insufficient sleep can affect people’s mental and physical health considerably (“Sleep deprivation and deficiency,” n.d.). When one lacks access to proper public health specialists and care, it is highly unlikely that one will be satisfied and happy with one’s life. Thus, the choice of public health as the transdisciplinary approach may be justified by the utmost significance of this element in reaching human flourishing.

The Purpose of Using Each Dimension in the Questionnaire

Some of the most important dimensions employed to measure WB were a healthy lifestyle, access to health care and its quality, and civic engagement. The reason why each of these aspects was included in the questionnaire is related to the significance of their effect on people’s WB. First of all, a healthy lifestyle was incorporated in the survey since people’s public health and WB are contingent on it (“Your healthiest self,” 2018). The purpose of asking participants about their activities was to find out how support from others can affect one’s choices regarding sports and diet. Additionally, this dimension asked about access to resources, which is a vital component of WB.

A healthy lifestyle dimension was related to access to health care and its quality, which constituted the next part of the questionnaire. According to the NIH, the deficiency of access to high-quality care may result in serious negative outcomes both for an individual and those affected by his or her unhealthy behaviors (“Sleep deprivation and deficiency,” n.d.). Thus, finding out about respondents’ access to health care and their opinions on its quality was necessary to investigate their level of WB. Finally, the reason why the civic engagement was included in the questionnaire was that this element defines people’s interactions and affects their WB to a great extent (Wray-Lake, DeHaan, Shubert, & Ryan, 2017). People’s flourishing is linked to the rate of their positive collaboration with other individuals and the community (“Community engagement,” 2016). Hence, by asking respondents about their civic engagement practices, it became possible to evaluate their WB, as well as their ability to accumulate resources for flourishing.

Civic Engagement and Its Relation to Well-Being

Civic engagement is frequently viewed as something separate from healthcare. However, it is a highly important component of WB due to several factors. First of all, civic engagement is reported to have a beneficial effect on children’s, adolescents’, and adults’ development and relationships with others (Hart, Matsuba, & Atkins, 2014; Wray-Lakeet al., 2017). Civic participation is closely linked to human flourishing (Hart et al., 2014). Although people engage in civic activities voluntarily, they usually feel inclined to join some kind of action because it makes them feel self-sufficient and needed. Despite a different level of abilities in children and adults, the former try to participate not less active than the latter.

As Hart et al. (2014) notice, despite the services bearing different values, children and adolescents volunteer as frequently as adults do. Such an ardent willingness to do something for a good cause signifies the exceptional role of civic engagement in human flourishing. According to the NIH, civic engagement is “a powerful vehicle” for generating environmental and behavioral alterations (“Community engagement,” 2016). Such changes are likely to enhance the health of the community in general and each of its members, in particular. Above all, civic engagement gives people meaning, which is necessary for arranging one’s WB and getting satisfaction. As a result of becoming involved in some community activity, an individual feels empowered and appreciated. Thus, it is impossible to overestimate the contribution of civic engagement to the development of WB. Although community activities do not directly affect one’s physical health, they promote the enhancement of different features that together lead to the evolution of WB.


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Hart, D., Matsuba, K., & Atkins, R. (2014). Civic engagement and child and adolescent well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being: Theories, methods and policies in global perspective (pp. 957-975). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

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Wray-Lake, L., DeHaan, C. R., Shubert, J., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). Examining links from civic engagement to daily well-being from a self-determination theory perspective. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 14(2), 166-177. Web.

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