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Wellness is a global concept with no borders or boundaries and is culturally expressed and experienced. Wellness pioneer and 2017 NWI Halbert L. Dunn Wellness Award recipient, Jack Travis, states that “My summation of 40 yrs work in 6 words is: "The currency of wellness is connection." We have much to learn from one another no matter where we call home. As Chair of the NWI International Standing Committee, I invite you to share your wellness stories here so expanding your connection with all wellness seekers across the world (Bob Boyd, OAM, S&LCNWI, MEnvn&ComH CWP)


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A Coordinator of a Long Term Award-Winning Staff Wellness Program Reminisces

Posted By Michelle Stone, BApSc (Human Movement Studies) Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Originally Posted By NWI, Monday, December 5, 2016
To access the current and 60 plus members only archived International Wellness Connection articles, become a member

Early Days

Greenslopes Private HospitalWorking for a well-recognized company renowned for its achievements in the health and wellness field had to be one of my all-time career goals. So you can imagine my excitement when I got the call to say I was successful in my bid in becoming the next Wellness Coordinator for Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane. I had initially heard of and admired this program back in my university days. While my focus was more about personal training and musculoskeletal rehabilitation in those days, little did I know then that I would eventually become the coordinator of this program, and working in a role that made me far more satisfied and happier than ever before. It felt as though my career up until that point had only ‘prepped’ me for such a role.  

On the outside, the Greenslopes Staff Wellness program was an impressive award-winning program (Best Health and Wellbeing Strategy twice and runner up once) achieved by the implementation of a diverse range of health and wellness activities that took influence from the Hewitt 7 dimensions of wellness model. A program that grew from its initiation by a 4th year student from the QUT School of Human Movement Studies as her 4th year, 12-week final practicum (internship) in the early 2000s.

On the inside was a busy little team of Exercise Physiologists and Health Promotion officers, working tirelessly and frantically to make an indent in the staff culture and encourage any sort of engagement from the busy hospital workforce. 

The diversity of the program extended far beyond what I originally knew about the program; and yet, we were still able to add further depth to the program across my five years with the company.

The resultant program consisted of:

  • Pay for service onsite gym equipped with a full range of cardio equipment, free weights, and pin-loaded resistance equipment (all uniquely fitted with the innovative My Wellness system from Technogym), as well as plyometric, abdominal and stretching equipment
  • Onsite yoga, Pilates, meditation, and fitness group classes
  • Injury prevention education and activity sessions
  • Pre-work warm up education and activity sessions
  • Team unity and building sessions that promoted movement and social connection
  • Onsite Exercise Physiology service, delivering rehabilitation and work strengthening of injured workers, and oncology patients
  • Onsite Cooking classes and Nutrition and Dietetic service
  • Onsite Physiotherapy service
  • Offsite and confidential access to free 24/7 counselling service
  • Lifestyle recreational courses
  • First aid and CPR workshops
  • Onsite Corporate chair massage reward sessions, and in-house massage service
  • Onsite Financial planning, mortgage brokering, bank @ work, health insurance, and superannuation services
  • Facilitation of the corporate team for various Community fitness events i.e. Gold Coast Marathon, Bridge to Brisbane, Triathlon Pink, Kokoda Challenge, Colour Run
  • Promotion and delivery of community health initiatives (i.e. R U Ok Day, Breast Cancer Awareness, Movember, Diabetes week, Stroke week, Quit Smoking campaigns)
  • Delivery of wellness program promotion at monthly new staff orientation sessions
  • Annual step/pedometer and bi-annual weight loss challenges
  •  Weekly educational and promotional wellness newsletters
  • Facilitation of the Annual onsite wellness expo
  • Development and production of Staff Wellness Guide publications
  • Management and upkeep of our own intranet site for hospital staff.
My early days in the Greenslopes Wellness program seemed fruitful. A busy and dedicated five-person wellness team engaging with a 2500+ workforce. The majority of the workforce were aware of and utilized the wellness program regularly, particularly the wellness education modules of injury prevention, nutrition, body awareness workshops. We were constantly busy juggling the facilitation of the above-mentioned list of activities. We had aprominent and supportive voice at the top executive table. This assisted us in remaining engaged by the workforce via top-down influence, and we were trusted and strongly supported in our attempts to try new initiatives. Little did I know then, that in fact this influential executive member was the lynchpin of the entire program.


As I’m sure you’ve worked out by now, that there is a recent unfortunate conclusion (of sorts) for this program (or at least a disassembly of its former great framework). 

Reflecting back on this impressive list of services and activities (mentioned above), it’s hard to believe that any top executive would want to downsize such a program, particularly in a period where other organisations are expanding their staff wellness commitments, and particularly considering the program having the reputation of being leaders in this field. The frustrating thing is being aware that the program (even in its final days in its former 

framework) still surpassed the majority of programs currently being run by large businesses by means of innovation, diversity, and engagement. But corporate Wellness 101is proving a measurable return on investment, and in this particular case it came down to bottom line 

financials. And I get that. We all need to ensure we are moving forward and are maintaining a profitable bottom line. However for a program with an initial goal to be a service for staff and not a revenue stream is really a tough challenge. Deciding to disassemble a program based on financial outcomes and excluding the value of the indirect return on investment, the creation and transformation of healthy workers from unhealthy workers, and the flow on effect thathas on their co-workers, family, community, the reductions to sick leave, worksite injuries, staff morale, staff productivity, staff turnover (or what I prefer staff retainment) etc… what chance does a wellness program have?

Executive support is critical

Well the chances are high and in your favor, when you have an executive and leadership team who understand these associations, and are willing to model a wellness culture in their own immediate work environments, which in turn inspire their colleagues and workforce to foster this among their respective work departments too. 

Whereby yoga, meditation, and stretching sessions and the presentation of wellness program statistics were regular agenda items at leadership team meetings; wellness representatives were committee members in a number of hospital committees, and executive team members were regular attendees at a standalone wellness committee meetings; whereby wellness program induction sessions were typical items on a new managers orientation schedule; whereby a hospital wide staff health risk assessment was costed into strategic planning budgets and business plans and actioned to ensure the wellness program was maintaining relevance and direction in addressing identified staff health issues; where 

executive leaders were regular attending members of onsite fitness services, who participated in community team events alongside their workers… How could an organisational wellness culture not be fostered from this? This was once a reality for Greenslopes Private Hospital.

From my recent experience, I liken the impact of an executive turnover event on a wellness program to a perpetual hand-me-down jigsaw puzzle. A piece always seems to get lost in hand over.

Losing our ‘lynchpin’ or our greatest wellness ambassador from the executive team, an executive leader who understood the benefits of investing in wellness strategies, who could educate their fellow executive peers about these investments, and help ensure that future strategic planning and operations maintained a wellness representation, and the inability to fill those shoes in their replacement, left a substantial hole in the wellness sphere, and subsequently altered the wellness culture of the hospital from there onwards. 

The wellness program became more about checking boxes than maintaining the innovator and industry leader title we had so proudly claimed. Wellness activities began to disappear and be discussed less from leadership meetings, and eventually the workplace culture began to change, seeing less investment in staff development and wellness initiatives. Wellness orientations were dropped from new manager inductions, and team leaders/managers became too busy to investigate how wellness could work for their teams, let alone afford the staff hours to put towards wellness in-service sessions. Wellness became an onsite gym, corporate chair massage rewards, and a corporate fun run team; well at least that’s how the program became to be perceived by the majority of staff. 

Greenslopes Private HospitalDespite the wellness team being downsized (to just 2.2FTE), the change in strategic direction of the hospital, and the diminishing executive support to invest in the program, the wellness team’s enthusiasm for making an impact on hospital wellness culture and connecting with staff, remained unwavering. We found ourselves continually remodelling our programs’ approach to become less intrusive be trustingly just as effective in an effort to appeal to more managers and encourage more engagement.

Ordinarily a team that is downsized is encouraged to also downsize their scope of practice. We were that’s for sure. But with a disappearing wellness culture that could potentially (and evidently did in the end) threaten our future, I was determined to hang on to all facets of the program. The reputation of the wellness program and the depth of diversity it had achieved was something to proudly hang on to. Our (the wellness team) philosophy was that if we could make genuine connections with even one member of staff in whatever avenue of the program, then we would be returned with patronage in other dimensions of the business. This rang true for us. New gym memberships, greater participation in corporate chair massage services, and even greater participation in team fun run events, all eventuated from initial hallway conversations, post wellness education session conversations, casual customer patronage, free meditation sessions and return to work initial rehabilitation consultations. 

And so, this returns us to the ongoing debate of Wellness return on investment. Yes, Participation statistics are direct proof of engagement. And yes you can report on how many people you get to a meditation class, how many people participated in a step challenge, how many members used the gym today. However, how do you report on the thousands of hallway conversations you have with staff; where those conversations might actually be relating to that staff member seeking help and advice for a family member, and who in turn can now worry less and focus more on their work because their problem that clouded their every thought has been heard and even solved? And now that employee decides to stay in their job, their morale improves, they take the brave step to start exercising at home, all because they feel that the hospital values them enough to provide such a service, and friendly fellow staff members (wellness staff) who genuinely care about their wellbeing? Is that not an indirect impact which consequently provides financial gain for the business? Is that not Value on Investment?

/resource/resmgr/blog-nwi-international/GPH_img3b.jpgThe Greenslopes Wellness program engagement statistics (on paper) actually seemed to improve over the course of my five years, fluctuating between 40% and 80%. We certainly had significant growth in uptake of some activities like step challenges (300+ participants), fun run events, massage services. And while we (the wellness team) believed that every engagement statistic in any of the wellness programs or services was positive indicator that staff were taking action in becoming more well, it was the diminishing uptake of injury prevention education and work strengthening interventions by the departments that seemed to impact us the most. This I believe to be a direct consequence of the changing work environment instigated by a change in corporate strategic direction.

Greenslopes Private HospitalA wellness program is evidently only a small snippet in the big picture of an organisation, and although I believe is integral in the success of worker productivity and eventual financial gains for the business (as outlined above), in my experience it is often viewed as an expendable item and seems to take the hits first. Its sustainability security relies heavily on the right executive support. One who understands that that small snippet is essential to the big picture. One who values their own total wellness and understands how each dimension can influence another and one who with this knowledge sees a place for it in their work environment for the betterment of their workforce and evidently their business’s bottom line. And one who is willing to be the iconic stone that starts the ripple.

Sadly the program has now been disassembled to just a shadow of its former glory. An unsupervised onsite gym with restricted access, community health campaigning (R U OK Day and Movember initiatives) and team fun run events, all added to a select few employee’s existing work portfolios instead of the dedicated wellness team/staff that formerly promoted and facilitated these operations. 

This case study demonstrates the impact that executive leadership has on the successes and downfalls of their worksite wellness program and ultimately its bottom line.

To this day I’m very proud of the program we and the previous wellness staff helped create. The accolades we received for the program are trivial in comparison to the satisfaction and reward received in witnessing someone overhaul their life (instigated by a simple conversation with you or your team), and who now have essentially become a new wellness ambassador creating their own ripples in their own world, is second to none, and one that I will profoundly miss.

Michelle StoneGraduating with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science (Human Movement Studies) in 2001 from QUT, Michelle initiated her health, wellness, and fitness career in personal training and group fitness instruction at a local gym before becoming an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and subcontracted by KINNECT rehabilitation for the delivery of return to work and work strengthening musculoskeletal rehabilitation for WorkCover Qld. She then worked in health promotion and lifestyle education with Health By Design, before accepting a role with UQ Sport at the University of Queensland that saw her become the assistant manager for the UQ Sport & Fitness centre. Five years ago she became the Wellness Coordinator for the Greenslopes Private Hospital Staff Wellness Program. At present she is stay-at-home mum to a 10-month-old and has a passionate interest in nutritional medicine around which she is looking to pursue further study in this area. 

Tags:  fitness  Greenslopes Private Hospital  hospital  Michelle Stone  wellness program  worksite 

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Personal Touch Fitness holds ‘Build Your Resilience Lunch & Learn Workshop’ and a ‘Laughter Yoga class’ for a Corporate Client

Posted By Chris Andrews, Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

build resilience and guided meditationChris Andrews, MD and Associate Priya had 31 corporate employees join them for a Lunch & Learn talk to improve skills and knowledge of how to build resilience and take part in a guided mindfulness meditation.

Feedback from participants;
“Your caring nature is infectious, keep up your efforts.”

“Chris is an amazing ball of energy and authenticity which shows what mindfulness can do for you.”

“Well done again…it was a lovely presentation and will definitely get folk thinking and taking action!”

“I have taken a lot away from this session. Lots to think about and handy tips to improve my mindfulness.”

Boost your wellbeing with Laughter Yoga

laughter yogaEmployees of a corporate client laughed with Personal Touch Fitness’ Associate Elizabeth Saunders who taught the ‘Laughter Yoga class’. Before/after surveys completed by participants showed the benefits of Laughter Yoga with better mood, enthusiasm, energy, relaxed muscle and more awareness of breathing.

Feedback from participants;
“Feel totally energised and much more positive mood!!”

“Brilliant we should have it as part of our weekly offer and encourage more people to do.”

Chris AndrewsChris has been the MD of Personal Touch Fitness (PTF) for 16 years in the UK,  having completed her Wellness studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. Chris prides herself in her passion, enthusiasm and expertise in providing fitness services in the corporate environment which is extended through the company values, ethos and to the employees. With almost 22 years of experience, many leading PTF, she has learned what works and what does not. Her energy drives her tireless quest to improve her clients’ health and fitness. Chris has given PTF clients the confidence to harness her skills to lead Facilities and Service Provider workshops as well as formulate and promote client Wellbeing Strategies.

Tags:  International Wellness  laughter yoga  lunch and learn  meditation  United Kingdom  yoga 

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Texting, Emails, Twitter, Facebook – Perhaps it is time to think about digitally detoxing?

Posted By Chris Andrews, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Originally posted By NWI, Monday, November 7, 2016 By Chris Andrews
Managing Director, Personal Touch Fitness United Kingdom


Time for a Digital DetoxLet’s talk about electronic devices and social media. Have you encountered someone nearly bumping into you walking down the street because their head was looking at their mobile device and not concentrating on where they were going? Instead, their concentration is on a perceived important message that they ‘need’ to reply right then and there. It seems extraordinary if you think about it without even mentioning the strain on the muscles in the neck, eyes, and fingers. Give your body a break. Prevent an accident or incident by enjoying the surroundings and appreciate your environment.

Your health and wellbeing is more important and we should all consider where, when, and why you need to be on an electronic device for a majority of waking hours. Do you really want to be available 24/7? I wouldn’t recommend it. There is a time and place for their use. Are you overusing it? Before the mobile phone, people were able to connect. Yes, it took longer but was that a bad thing? The stress contributes to mental wellbeing problems due to over-use. Now, it is ruling our lives and eventually, it will take a toll on our health. The young generation is on electronic devices at an early age. Whilst we need to know how to use devices to keep up with the ever-changing world, we need to consider the impact on our health and wellbeing. It will affect us all. Eventually. One way or another. Issues can be emotional, physical or even financial by keeping up with the latest version.

We need to talk to one another face-to-face and engage in a conversation. Take note how many family gatherings everyone is glued to their electronic devices. You may have children over to play or for a sleep-over and they are all on their phones taking selfies, playing games, or searching the internet. If boundaries are given or devices taken away–you are a “mean” parent.

Have you taken time to understand how many hours you or your children spend on electronic devices and do you have a cut-off time each day when you turn-off? Do you lead by example? Is it time to take stock and digitally detox for your health and wellbeing?

  1. Time Apart: Put your devices out of sight instead of leaving it on the counter where you can see messages and notifications. Put them in a cupboard or drawer.
  2. Holidays: These are what they say. A holiday is to relax and recharge ourselves. Put the phone away.
  3. Buy an alarm clock: Don’t rely on a phone to wake you up otherwise it becomes the first thing you check morning and night.
  4. Have a cut-off time in the evening when you switch-off devices stick to it.

Challenge yourself on your behaviors and why you may spend a lot of time on devices and how does it make you feel? Things can be easily misconstrued and come across completely different on texts, email, and social media. If someone really is interested in you, they should speak to you.

If you start changing behaviors slowly you might be surprised the amount of time you originally spent on electronic devices. You may find that the time you save can amount to a few hours a day. This will enable valuable family and friends time actually talking to one another, playing ‘real’ games or going on a cycle ride. You may find you are able to fit in more exercise or mediate, read your favourite book or plan and prepare healthy meals. Takeaways and unhealthy diets are usually blamed on a lack of time. Think about the changes that you could make in your lifestyle for your health & wellbeing as you grow older and prevent that accident on the pavement or stresses and strains on the body! The answer isn’t always, "There is an app for that"!

Chris AndrewsChris has been the MD of Personal Touch Fitness (PTF) for 16 years in the UK,  having completed her Wellness studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. Chris prides herself in her passion, enthusiasm and expertise in providing fitness services in the corporate environment which is extended through the company values, ethos and to the employees. With almost 22 years of experience, many leading PTF, she has learned what works and what does not. Her energy drives her tireless quest to improve her clients’ health and fitness. Chris has given PTF clients the confidence to harness her skills to lead Facilities and Service Provider workshops as well as formulate and promote client Wellbeing Strategies.

Tags:  communication  digital  email  International Wellness  social media  United Kingdom 

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Welcome to NWI International

Posted By NWI, Friday, November 3, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wellness is a global concept culturally expressed and experienced. We have much to learn from one another no matter where we call home.


As Chair of the recently constituted NWI International Standing Committee I welcome you to the newly launched  International web page.

The International Standing Committee has developed out of an informal meeting of International arranged by the then Conference Committee at a NWI conference many years ago. What has transpired since then to the current day is best seen in this reprint of an International Wellness Connections article I wrote for the NWI November 2015 Newsletter, titled Evolution of the NWI International Wellness Group (reproduced at the bottom of this post). The International Standing Committee will be the voice of the continuing to function informal NWI International Wellness Group network.


Alex LoboAlex Lobo

Wellness and Prevention Specialist
Social Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO, Empowering the Change-Makers
Speaker, Author, Researcher, Coach

My mission is to solve social problems through innovative business models.

Using research, coaching and education, we empower change-makers, high achievers, and motivated individuals and organizations to improve their lives, careers, businesses and social contributions.

My expertise encompasses social-emotional learning, wellness, prevention science, resiliency, coaching, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Problems addressed include obesity, addiction, depression, violence, and crime from a positive perspective.

My credentials, education and experience derive from three areas:
As a Business Owner and MBA from the most prestigious business school in Latin America, with over 20 years in top management positions in corporate, social and government sectors, and more than one million beneficiaries of my programs in private schools, companies and federal and local government.

As a Prevention Specialist, family therapist, addiction counselor, and life- performance and wellness coach. 

As a Flourishing, Productive Human Being, who overcame health, personal and family issues to create a meaningful life of contribution and become a loving husband and father, eternal student, and successful educator and businessman.

Enjoy your Wellness Lifestyle
Think, Feel and Act, always from your deepest Love.
SKYPE: alexlobomx 

United Kingdom

Chris AndrewsChris Andrews

MD of Personal Touch Fitness (PTF) 

Chris is a 1993 graduate in the Health Promotion & Wellness programme at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP). Determined to spread her wings, grow, learn, and be challenged she set out to do her Internship abroad. She went to the UK in November 1993, did her Internship and stayed. Now, mother of two, wife, and MD. She is involved in many local events at the tennis& rowing club, church, and schools on different levels.

Personal Touch Fitness has grown organically over 18 years and have worked with all sectors to help with their Wellbeing programmes. Chris prides herself in her passion, enthusiasm and expertise in providing fitness services in environments which is extended through the company values, ethos and to the employees. 

Chris enjoys hosting UWSP interns to the UK and sharing her knowledge. She finds the students engaging and they find it a wonderful hands on learning experience. 

Health & Wellbeing is about sharing, learning, awareness, mindfulness, and always working towards making small adjustments to ones wellbeing for a healthier life. Chris truly believe this and wants to continually share and encourage others to share. After all that is what Health &Wellbeing is all about. Her energy inspires students and people of all ages. Chris loves making a ripple into a wave.

T: +44 (0)0844 344 0034
M: +44 (0) 7977 497 551 
Skype: personaltouchfitness

South Africa

Dr. Dicky ElsDr. Dicky Els

CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd
Lead Independent Consultant: Workplace Wellness

Dr Dicky Els is a workplace wellness management subject matter expert that predominantly focuses on employee wellness strategy development, programme design, the effective implementation and evaluation of outcome-based health promotion programmes. He serves as a member of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Technical Committee being tasked to develop SANS:16001 Wellness and Disease Management System Requirements (including HIV, TB and non occupational diseases). 

As a business executive and registered Industrial Psychologist, Dicky’s passion vests in the optimisation of human capital, productivity and business performance. During the last three decades he has gained extensive experience in executive coaching, human resource management, change management and employee wellness and disease management. Dicky is a dynamic and innovative individual who was key to the successful development of several sustainable employee wellness programmes for prominent organisations in the banking, insurance, mining, motor manufacturing, agriculture, and telecommunication sectors. He regularly trains, mentors and coaches successful employee wellness managers on global best practices and international corporate health and wellness programme benchmarks. 

Dr Els consults as a wellness and disease management standard auditor, provides certification audit services, and wellness programme evaluation services to several local and international corporations. He regularly publishes articles in scientific and other popular journals and has appeared on several radio talk shows. His popular behaviour based book Be Well Brother, educates and entertains readers about lifestyle related disease, wellness and quality of life. Dicky has presented numerous workplace wellness conference papers and has attained his Doctor Philosophae (D. Phil.) at the University of Johannesburg in 2005 with a thesis in Developing a Holistic Workplace Wellness Model; Magister Artium (M.A.) Industrial Psychology at the North West University in 1999 with a thesis in Evaluation of a Training Programme that Stimulate Internal Locus of  Control. 

Tel: +27(11) 476 8264 / 0 
Cell: +27(82) 496 7960  
Websites: | 
SKYPE: dickyels9914

The Philippines

Conrado S. PerrerasCONRADO S. PERRERAS

An economist by training, a marketer by profession and an entrepreneur by choice, Conrad Perreras started his wellness advocacy at the turn of the century when the wellness revolution which started in the United States began to spread like wild fire to the rest of the world.  

He established a commercial venture to help people live a healthy lifestyle and organized an advocacy to build a well nation and live a life that matters.  He now conducts wellness education programs both in the public and the private sector through his seminar-workshops as part of the wellness awareness campaign, performs wellness assessments and recommends lifestyle interventions in nutrition, exercise and energy management.  

He is a member of various associations in different non-government organizations to promote happiness and wellbeing of individuals, families, companies and communities around the country.  He speaks on "Building a Well Nation and Living a Life That Matters" based on the life Filipinos want:  what they want to be, what they want to have,  what they want to do.  He is responsible for hosting the Philippine Wellness Congress which is now on its third year of implementation.  He represents the Philippines in major international spa and wellness events in the Asia Pacific Region.

He lives in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines with his wife of 38 years and two children who are both professionals.  He plays golf regularly on weekends with friends and goes to the gym every other day to stay fit and trim.  

He is a Rotarian, a Toastmaster and an Advocate of Good Governance both in the public and the private sector.

249 Langka Drive, Ayala Alabang Village
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Mobile:  +63915-113-8245  
SKYPE: conrado.s.perreras


Ferroudja MeghenemFerroudja Meghenem


Engineer of the highly reputed “EcoleNationaleSupérieure des Mines” based in Nancy (France), Ferroudja Meghenem started her career in audit and strategy & organizational consulting within Mazars group. For several years, she advised important and medium size groups.

Ferroudja Meghenem is also a passionated Woman who actively supports the values related to health and beauty of body and mind. She founded theF@ME Days®concept, a new approach of Wellness taking inspiration from fashion codes then she founded the company WELLNESS VALUES, a strategic consulting firm specialized in Wellness which helps companies and brands integrate a Wellness strategy within their organization and rethink their customers and employee experience. 

+33 (6) | 
91 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré 75008 Paris. | Inspire your brand strategy

Czech Republic

Jana StaraJana Stara 

Jana Stara is a PhD. candidate at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, where she developed and delivers the first experiential wellness course for Czech and international students. She dedicated her research and lecturing practice to promoting the concept of wellness in her country with respect to different cultural environment and traditions in Europe. During her professional, she has studied wellness practices and philosophies in Denmark, Turkey and USA. She is a certified Wellness Inventory Coach.

Jana founded an NGO Dobroti, which organizes educational seminars and public wellness-oriented events for local community. Another of their man activities is organizing training courses for European youth workers under the Erasmus+ program. One of their pilot trainings was “Game of Wellness” which combined the wellness ideas and strategies with gamification as principle that makes wellness more engaging and fun than necessary daily routine. The training has already had two editions in Czech Republic, in December 2016 and July 2017, and currently we work on other editions in Scotland, Romania and Iran. 

The positive feedback from students, youth workers and other trainers support Jana’s belief that better times for European wellness are yet to come. So far it is mostly related to the strong spa tradition in Europe.

tel: +420 776614121
skype: mladicee


Preeti RaoPreeti Rao

Founder & CEO, Welljii
ICHWC Mentor Coach

Preeti Rao's vision is to facilitate sustainable lifestyle behavioral changes that lead to better health outcomes and wellbeing. Preeti’s career path spanning a decade in executive management roles across several countries has provided her an understanding of the global health care system crisis and the importance of preventive strategies in health promotion. She is the Founder and CEO of Weljii. Welljii, is the recipient of "50 Best Wellness Companies Listings- Global Listing" by the World Health and Wellness Congress and it comprises of India's only Health and Wellness Coaching Centre and Institute.
She completed her MA in Integrated Health Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies, USA in 2013 and holds several fitness, yoga and health related certificates. Her expertise lies in exercise physiology, nutrition, health & wellness coaching, stress management, and corporate wellness programs to name a few. Her previous professional work includes UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Atena Wellness Coaching Program, and Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic in California, USA, Max Healthcare, India and Reebok India as their Fitness Brand Ambassador. Her authored articles regularly get featured in leading newspapers and magazines.

She is the leading internationally certified health and wellness coach and consultant in India. She is also India’s only ICHWC (International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaches, USA) Mentor Coach nominee to mentor others in the profession of Health and Wellness Coaching. Her mission is to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them make lifestyle behavioral changes that last a lifetime.
Phone: 91-8800885482
SKYPE: preetiraok



Professor, Laboratory of Wellness& Sports Education, Meiji University, Tokyo
Shinji is a long time NWI member and attendee and presenter at the National Wellness Conference. He is currently Professor at the Laboratory of Wellness & Sports Education, School of Arts and Letters, Meiji University, Tokyo (2011 -)  From 1994 to 2011 he rose from Assistant Professor to Professor at Laboratory of Health Science and Physical Education, School of Arts and Letters, Meiji His Doctoral studies were through the University of Tokyo, Department of Life Sciences, Graduate school of Arts and Sciences University. 

Shinji is the current Vice-president of the Japan Wellness Society. He is also a Member of Board of Directors of Japan Wellness Walking Association, President of Japan University Sport Climbing Association, Chairman of Sport Climbing Section of Tokyo Mountaineering Federation, a Member of Japanese University Sports Board, on the Strengthening Staff of Japanese Olympic Committee and Coach of Speed Climbing for the Japan National Sport Climbing team. His academic publications and research interests revolve around Japanese Student Wellness Education, Sport Climbing, Sports Injury Prevention, Sports Performance Improvement, Motor Control and Life Long Sports.

水村信二 []
Cell phone:+81-80-4070-9025
Skype: mizumuras2


Dr. John MunsonDr. John W. Munson

Professor Emeritus of Health Promotion -School of Health Promotion and Human Development, College of Professional Studies, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Current Roles
Past - President – Board of Directors, National Wellness Institute
Senior Consultant, Academic Accreditation – National Wellness Institute
Board of Advisors, Distinguished Ambassador – Medical Wellness Association
Board of Directors – Vesuvius Press Inc. Phoenix, AZ.
Trainer – Personality Resources Inc., New York, Toronto
Owner – Triple L Associates LLC, Wellness Consulting, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Ph.D.  The Ohio State University 1979
M.S. & C.A.G.S.  Springfield College 1970
B.S.  The Ohio State University 1967

Head Coaching, 18 years - Responsible for recruiting, budgeting, counseling, marketing, organizing and teaching in a variety of varsity programs at five universities, 1967-1985  (Lifetime record 212-82-4). NCAA Division I Head Coach in Wrestling and Lacrosse.

Acting Head, School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, 1983-84 and 1985-86.  Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies 1986-96.

Created the first academic wellness program in the United States working with colleagues, Dr. Anne Abbott and Dr. Joan North, UW-Stevens Point, 1989.

Professor of Health Promotion, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point 

Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies, Head, School of Health Promotion and Human Development, July 1, 1996 to 2002.

Professional Recognition and Awards

Board of Trustees – National Wellness Association, appointed 1990

Fellow, Association for Fitness in Business, inducted 1994.

Elected to National Wellness Institute, Circle of Leadership 1995

Vice President for Education – National Board, Association for Worksite Health Promotion 1994-96.

Past President – Association for Worksite Health Promotion Region IV (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky) 1997

Chair – Association for Worksite Health Promotion Undergraduate National Standards Taskforce 1996-2001.

Founding Member, Board of Advisors  –  Medical Wellness Association, 2002. 

Taskforce chair charged with starting nationwide student chapters in the National Wellness Institute, 2002-2004.

Taskforce chair National Accreditation of Undergraduate Health Promotion/Wellness Programs, 2004-2008.

Board of Directors  –  National Wellness Institute 2011-2017

Distinguished Medical Wellness Association Ambasador, March 2014

Co-President – National Wellness Institute Board of Directors June 2014-2016

Board of Directors – Vesuvius Press Incorporated 2014-2018

Triple L Associates, LLC
1101 Brawley Street
Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481
715-340-4855 Cell SKYPE


Bob BoydBob Boyd

Wellness Consultant, Educator, Mentor, Coach
Founder Wellness Communication Solutions and Wellness Constructs 

Bob brings 40 years’ experience across all areas of Personal and Corporate Wellness. His involvement includes research, consulting and teaching. A Ministerial appointment to the Queensland State Steering Committee on Health Promotion in the Workplace preceded his appointment as the inaugural Director of the QUT Wellness Matters Program. Founding President of the National Wellness Institute of Australia he has also chaired a number of State and National professional association. He currently sits on the National Wellness Institute (USA) Board of Directors and is the Chair of the International Committee. He is an accredited Workplace Wellness Director, Certified Workplace Wellness Specialist, Wellness Culture Coach, Certified Facilitator Identity Mapping & The Four Ways System, and Wellness Coach Trainer who has delivered conference presentations, workshops, and training programs and consulted to businesses, associations, governments, and community groups internationally and nationally.

36 Jackson St | Indooroopilly
Brisbane | Australia | 4068
Mobile: +61(0)414.645.837
SKYPE: robertlawsonboyd 


I trust that all members will take the opportunity presented to share Wellness information from around the globe and reach out and connect with members of the NWI International Wellness network group who reside in many countries around the world. If you also wish to be part of the NWI International Wellness network group please email me your contact details ( and I will add you to our contact list.   


Bob Boyd
Chair International Standing Committee
Member NWI Board of Directors
President National Wellness Institute of Australia

Evolution of the NWI International Wellness Group

Reproduced from November 2015 post on the International Wellness Connection blog

President of the National Wellness Institute of Australia
Lecturer for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, School of Health Sciences

If you have been an ardent or even perhaps an occasional reader of this segment of the monthly NWI member newsletter, you may have been wondering, “How did this come about?” Or then again, perhaps not. If you have been wondering, then I know you will probably at least start to read a little further. If you have not been wondering, or are a first time visitor to this space, then all I can say is please be my guest as you may find my spiel on the historical origins of this group interesting—no guarantee provided.

Despite being a National Wellness Institute member for many years previously, my initial attendance at the annual National Wellness Conference (NWC) was not until 2004. I had joined NWI after attending the first Australian Wellness Conference in Perth in 1990, organised by Australian wellness researcher and author Grant Donovan. There I met and spent time with NWI stalwarts such as Bill Hettler, Don Ardell, Sandy Queen, and others.

Distance, cost and academic timetabling had prevented attendance in Stevens Point before 2004. The weird thing was, I had by 2004 encouraged a few of my QUT Human Movement Studies students, who had shown in-depth interest in the Wellness courses we taught, to attend the conference as part of their ‘tour the world’ post-graduation vacation. That Australian Wellness Conference was not the first time that significant NWI members had visited Australia. A number had done so previously by being invited to work with a number of health professionals in various states. My attendance at the NWI conference in 2004 was not the first by an Australian either. Grant and others had been presenter attendees as early as the 1980s.

After attending NWC in 2005 as a presenter, in 2006 I attended as a volunteer worker. This enabled me to meet with and spend more time with other internationals in attendance. I found that we had common issues in getting to attend the conference. The following year the Conference Programming Committee scheduled a number of special interest focus groups during the conference aimed at involving more attending members in the feedback and recommendations for future NWI and NWC actions.

The majority of International attendees at that conference met with the NWI facilitator, Don Ardell, and discussed the pros and cons of attending the conference—travel distance, costs, lack of institution or company support, English as a second language, etc. The two largest contingents were from Brazil and Japan, some members of which had been attending for a number of years. We agreed to keep in contact with each other via email and Skype over the next 12 months, and this took place to a degree.

The following year International attendees met again over a lunch and similar topics were raised. It was decided to make a request to the NWI Board of Directors to provide a system on the NWI site whereby special interest groups such as ourselves could interact and support one another to share resources and ideas. For our group that was to improve the status of wellness in our respective countries as well as create a conversation with the Board of Directors to discuss ways to encourage more International presenters and attendees to the conference.

The NWI website at the time was unable to accommodate the presence of special interest groups. With the assistance of Michaela Conley a website for Internationals was developed on an outside server and that was partly instrumental in ensuring that beside a few English speaking Internationals (a good number from my part of the world due in part to the formation of the National Wellness Institute of Australia the previous year) there was the next year a presentation by co-presenters from Brazil for whom English was a second language. This was well attended and well supported by many American attendees including a number of NWI Board of Directors members.

Setting the scene for future Conferences, the continuing discussion of issues around International attendance at the Conference was conducted at a BBQ for Internationals hosted by long time NWI stalwart John Munson and his wife Barbara at their home. This encouraged others of our group to provide short presentations the following year as part of a scheduled half day International Forum. With the assistance of John Munson this took the form of a number of ‘Wellness in my country’ presentations by International Conference attendees interspersed by Skyped-in virtual presentations (managed by Michaela Conley from afar) by speakers in a number of countries around the world (Philippines, Chile, Venezuela, Germany, Australia). The International group was complemented by the Board of Directors for their involvement in the conference.

Two 1.5 hour scheduled workshop sessions featuring 4 international speakers, including one for whom English was a second language for the first time, with a scheduled 30 min forum was the group’s conference input the next year. The Board of Directors had implemented a scheme to support International attendees that year with a small reduction in Conference fees. That year was also the first year a formal dinner for International attendees was held at a local restaurant. The friendship between John Munson and Jim Miller (former Stevens Point community member lecturing in Austria) was instrumental in the initiation of the International Wellness Connection Segment in the NWI monthly newsletter which continues to this month with this article.

Authors are requested to provide to me an article between 1000 and 1500 words, centred around the theme “Wellness, generally in your country, or a specific Wellness issue /service/program in your country or a Wellness Issue of International interest.” Since the first article appeared in the NWI January 2012 newsletter (Jim Miller - Austria) there have been 43 articles published up to last month (missing Jan 2014, June 2014, July 2015). Readers have been treated to twenty-eight articles specific to wellness in 15 different countries – Australia (6), Austria (1), Canada (1), Chile (2), Czech Republic (1), Germany (1), India (2), Italy (1), Japan (1), Philippines (2), South Africa (4), Taiwan (1), Thailand (1), Trinidad/Tobago (2), United Kingdom (2).

There have also been eleven articles written by eight different authors on a wide range of wellness topics. These topics covered areas such as mental health, wellness benefits of outdoor experiences, core Workplace Wellness Program issues, Wellness and the aged, origins of Wellness, modern-world Wellness, and more. There have also been articles from Wellness Pioneers Don Ardell (“In the Beginning: Reflections of a Visiting Pioneer”), Sandy Queen (“In the beginning…My Genesis of Wellness”) and Jack Travis (“Wellness in Australia Compared to the US”). Altogether there have been 38 contributors with one person providing 3 articles (2 co-authored) and 5 providing two articles each. Countries from which more than a single author had contributed are Australia 10, South Africa 5, USA 3, Germany 2, Canada 2, Trinidad/Tobago 2. All these articles are archived in full and available to NWI members in the International Wellness Connection web page on the NWI website (Publications, NWI Professional Publications, International Connection).

Over the last few years the group’s conference involvement each year has been 3 scheduled International workshops involving a total of six 30-min presentations, two 45-min International forums involving two 5-min/3-slide “poster” presentations, mostly by those for whom English is a second language, and audience discussions of international wellness topics. Both these types of sessions have been very well attended and appreciated by conference attendees from all over the globe. A very pleasing outcome of these “wet-the-toe” presentations is that often the speakers become full workshop presenters the following year, or move up to 30-min presenters from the poster talk ranks.

Group members each conference attempt to meet and greet any first time International attendee, provide them with an International conference badge tag, invite them to become part of the group and attend the group’s activities at the conference and to stay connected post conference. Unfortunately, due to the ever present issue of cost of travel to attend, a number of the group members find it impossible to attend the conference annually, and it may be a number of years in between physical connection. However, the revamp of the NWI website a number of years ago included a provision of a connection and support portal for International members and other interested members through the My Groups function. The Board of Directors also continue to discuss ways and means to attract International presenters and attendees to the conference.

Next time at the conference remember to check the program for the International sessions and come along, experience the group’s culture and broaden your International Wellness Horizons and connections.

Bob BoydBob is an on-line Workplace Wellness Lecturer for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, School of Health Sciences. Co-Founder and Director of the inaugural wellness-aligned Health Centre in Queensland in 1976, he is the founding and current President of the National Wellness Institute of Australia. Inducted into the NWI Service and Leadership Circle in 2008, Bob is a member of the NWI Board of Directors and the facilitator of the International Wellness Group at NWI. His academic wellness career commenced in 1990, being involved in the development and introduction of wellness courses in a number of Australian universities while also managing the staff wellness program at one. His personal goal is to work closely with international wellness practitioners and organizations to progress wellness around the globe.

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