Blog: “Subtraction + Addition = Lean Wellness”

November 1, 2015


Unhealthy habits pull at us every day.  They are so ingrained into our subconscious that we don’t even stop to think about the choices that confront us throughout the day.  We default to the familiar unhealthy choice.  Making the healthy choice the easy choice is much easier said than done.  Lean Wellness is about making lifestyle choices conscious choices.  Once we do that, we can begin to create a lifestyle that supports healthy choices.


Lean Wellness asserts that anyone, or any organization, can improve health and wellbeing by reducing unhealthy behaviors and continuously learning and improving healthy behaviors.  It is simple subtraction and addition – daily subtracting unhealthy choices and adding healthy choices.  Examples might include:


     Subtract:  Not eating breakfast          Add:    Eating a healthy breakfast


     Subtract:  Being sedentary most        Add:    Regularly scheduled movement                                     of the day                                      throughout the day, or a given                                                                                             number of steps to be achieved


     Subtract:  Consumption of sugar        Add:    Water as a replacement                                                sweetened beverages


     Subtract:  Unhealthy snacks               Add:    Servings of fruits and vegetables 

                                                                             as your preferred snacks


     Subtract:  Fatigue and lack of             Add:    Quality sleep              

                      energy during the day


Lean Wellness is a radical departure from the traditional carrot and stick approach to behavior change at work.  It trusts people to find their own solutions to the health and wellbeing issues that they face.  It is not dependent on incentives to engage people and achieve desired results.  Rather, leaders inspire change by the example they set and the support they provide.  This leads to small successes and incremental progress that drives further achievement and creates a new vision for a vitality-filled life.  Continuous learning and improving become a way of thinking, being and living.  When that happens, lifestyle choices become conscious choices.


Choose Consciously,

M. J.


M. J. White is the creator of “Lean Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and wellbeing at work. It is inspired from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is lasting behavior change in people and a more productive work environment. To learn more, visit the website at: or email M. J. directly at:

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