Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

The Wellness Syndrome

Why healthy living isn't all it says it is.

By Carl Cederström and André Spicer
10-minute read
Audio available
The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederström and André Spicer

The Wellness Syndrome (2015) explains why a health craze that’s sweeping the world may not be all that healthy for you. These blinks get to the root of why we’re obsessed with making ourselves happier, healthier and harder-working – and who is reaping the benefits of this obsession.

  • Self-help practitioners looking for alternate viewpoints
  • Students of sociology
  • People suffering from work-related anxiety or depression

Carl Cederström is an associate professor of organization theory at Stockholm University. His work has been published in the Guardian, the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review.

André Spicer is a leading thinker on subjects such as organizational behavior, leadership and corporate responsibility. He is a professor of organizational behavior at Cass Business School at City, University of London and the founding director of ETHOS: The Center for Responsible Enterprise at the University.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Wellness Syndrome

By Carl Cederström and André Spicer
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederström and André Spicer
Synopsis

The Wellness Syndrome (2015) explains why a health craze that’s sweeping the world may not be all that healthy for you. These blinks get to the root of why we’re obsessed with making ourselves happier, healthier and harder-working – and who is reaping the benefits of this obsession.

Key idea 1 of 6

An obsession with wellness has become an ideology, limiting freedom of thought and action.

Many people consider the pursuit of wellness a lifelong goal. To stay on track, these people avoid “unhealthy” influences, whether it be eating fatty pork chops or smoking cigarettes. They head to a Pilates class daily and occasionally enjoy some pampering at a fancy spa.

Eating correctly and exercising daily – what’s wrong with that?

Well, we first have to consider that “wellness” means more than exercising regularly and eating healthily. Wellness is an ideology; it holds that a healthy body is a necessary state for success and happiness in life.

Thinking this way marks a significant societal change. If you cared about your looks and health decades ago, people would think you vain and superficial. Today, the cult of wellness stresses that to be successful in everything in life, you need a fat-free, fit body and a clear, capable state of mind.

The problem is that adhering to such an ideology compulsively can limit your freedom of thought, causing you to miss important experiences.

The wellness doctrine is based on a narrow way of thinking that revolves exclusively around health while forbidding many activities such as drinking or taking recreational drugs. Such activities society used to view as not only enjoyable but also important rites of passage.

Many American universities now require students to sign a wellness contract upon enrollment. Students pledge to abstain from alcohol and drugs and devote themselves to living healthily.

Yet these straight-edge students will undoubtedly miss out on youthful experiences that once inspired society’s greatest thinkers. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously indulged in coffee, cigarettes and alcohol while at school, his circle of friends enjoying discussions of absurdity and revolution.

Such experiences were mind-expanding! Contemporary students of philosophy pushed to follow the tenets of wellness might miss out.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.