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Seven dimensions of digital wellbeing

A new article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research reveals seven aspects, or dimensions, of wellbeing that can be promoted by digital technology.

The new article “From Digital Health to Digital Well-being: Systematic Scoping Review” by Merlijn Smits reports the findings of a thematic analysis of 117 scientific studies on wellbeing. It has a health care focus but reveals the seven dimensions of wellbeing that get studied in wellbeing research. These seven dimensions help frame, define and clarify the concept of digital wellbeing.

Seven dimensions of wellbeing
  1. Healthy Mind: ‘Healthy mind’ refers to the absence of mental disease (in research, this was mostly referred to as mental wellbeing or emotional wellbeing
  2. Healthy Body: ‘Healthy body’ refers to the absence of physical disease (in research, this was mostly referred to as physical wellbeing
  3. Functional Me: ‘Functional me’ refers to the ability to execute activities of daily living and reach life goals
  4. Happy Me: ‘Happy me’ refers to the ability to feel happy, flourish, have a meaningful life, and accept oneself (including body)
  5. Social Me: ‘Social me’ refers to personal relationships that people have and the evaluation of these relationships.
  6. Self-managing Me: ‘Self-managing me’ refers to the ability to understand and manage one’s health care condition autonomously
  7. External Conditions: ‘External conditions’ refers to contexts and circumstances that create the setting for wellbeing such as financial security and having a job and a house

These seven dimensions provide a useful checklist for thinking about the different ways digital technology can promote wellbeing. And to this end, the report also identified six ways digital technology is being put to the service of promoting wellbeing.

Six digital tools for promoting wellbeing
  1. Support platforms (apps/online services)
  2. Sensor technology
  3. Telephone/Video based
  4. Social media
  5. VR/gaming/audiovisual
  6. Wearable/clothing

The study is an open publication and can be downloaded by clicking on the reference link

Smits, M., Kim, C. M., van Goor, H., & Ludden, G. D. (2022). From digital health to digital well-being: Systematic scoping review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(4), e33787.

Written by
Dr Paul Marsden
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Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.