Donald B. Ardell has been one of the leading figures in the wellness movement for four decades. The author of numerous books and articles on wellness, he has also been a popular speaker on wellness-related topics, appearing in every U.S. state except Rhode Island and Maine, all of Canada’s provinces and throughout Australia.
- 1 Academia and publishing
- 2 Awards
- 3 Books
- 4 References
Academia and publishing
Ardell earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1963 from George Washington University. He attended GWU on a full basketball scholarship after playing for three years on U.S. Air Force teams. Ardell played three years at GWU, leading the his team to a Southern Conference Championship in 1962 and a berth in the NCAA tournament. He earned a masters degree in city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965 and attended Stanford University Business School’s Senior Executive Program in 1973. He was awarded his doctorate in health and public policy in 1977 by Union Institute and University.
In 1974 he wrote a series of articles in the American Journal of Health Planning that described how health planning could be reoriented from regulating hospital expansions to promoting healthy lifestyles. He reported that before the essential demise of health planning in the late 70’s, one-third of area-wide health planning agencies had adopted a goal of promoting wellness.
In 1977 he published High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease, expanding the concept of High Level Wellness first employed by Halbert L. Dunn. Ardell’s book was a best-seller, published initially by Rodale Press and then in numerous reprint editions by Bantam Books and Ten-Speed Press. He later wrote more than a dozen additional wellness books, including 14 Days to a Wellness Lifestyle, REAL Wellness and Aging Beyond Belief.
He was an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida where he guided that university’s Campus Wellness Center from 1984 until 1996. He started published the quarterly Ardell Wellness Report in 1984 (74 editions were produced) and for over a decade has produced a weekly electronic newsletter by the same name. As of mid-2011, nearly 700 of these AWRs have been distributed worldwide.
He was one of ten people given the Healthy America Fitness Leader’s Award in 1991 by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Allstate Insurance Company and the U.S. Jaycees.
In 2010, Ardell was honored in Düsseldorf by the German Wellness Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In the same year, he recited Robert Green Ingersoll’s 1890 “Lotus Club speech” in the annual Ingersoll Oratory Contest sponsored by the Washington Area Humanist Association, winning second place.
Beyond his Air Force and collegiate basketball career, Ardell has also earned distinction as a senior athlete. He is considered one of the fastest runners in the world in his age class. He has also been a perennial All-American triathlete and duathlete, winning national titles in both sports. He has also won four World Triathlon Championships in his divisions, including events in Tasmania (1994), Montreal (1999), the Gold Coast of Australia (2009) and Budapest (2010).
- High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease
- An Author’s Guide to Journals in the Health Field
- Planning for Wellness: A Guidebook
- The History and Future of Wellness
- 14 Days to a Wellness Lifestyle
- Wellness: The Body, Mind and Spirit
- Die Healthy: Sixteen Steps to Wellness (with Grant Donovan)
- Live More of Your Life the Wellness Way
- REAL Wellness: What’s New in Wellness Today
- Aging Beyond Belief
- Biography of Donald B. Ardell, Ph.D. 
- Ardell, D. B. (1976). High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs and Disease. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.
- Ardell, D. B. (2000). What is wellness? 
- Ardell, D. B. (Sept. 16, 2000). The Road to Wellness. Address to the Japan Wellness Society. 
- Ardell, D. B. (Dec. 29, 2000). A (very) brief history of the wellness concept. Wellness in the Headlines (Don’s Report to the World). 
- Ardell, D. B. (July 14, 2004). The Legacy of Wellness. Keynote address at the 29th annual National Wellness Conference, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 
- Dunn, H.L. (1961). High-Level Wellness. Arlington, VA: Beatty Press.