How to Write a Health Article

As medical advancements continue to be made, our understanding of health has expanded. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

This definition of health is more holistic and considers an individual’s overall well-being in light of his or her environment, personal goals, family and community values. In this definition, health is a resource and it’s possible to experience healthy lifestyle behaviours in order to achieve one’s personal wellness goals.

When writing a health article, it’s important to consider your audience. This could be the general public or a specific group of people such as doctors, scientists or a particular publication’s readers. Understanding your audience will help you focus your ideas and shape the content for maximum impact.

Format will also have a significant impact on your approach. For example, a short news story about the latest scientific discovery is very different from an in-depth feature article on a treatment that has undergone extensive testing. The latter will take a longer time to write and may require different research skills.

When it comes to health writing, honesty is key. Readers are often highly skeptical of claims made by authors who lack credibility or have a condescending attitude towards those with health concerns. On the other hand, readers appreciate genuine articles that provide useful information. This can be as simple as a quick guide to managing a condition or a more detailed description of a new treatment that may not have yet been widely available.

The judging criteria for health writing can vary depending on the award you’re entering. For example, some awards are judged on the amount of research you’ve included in your article, whereas others look at your storytelling ability and natural writing style. Familiarising yourself with the judging criteria for each award can help you focus your idea and ensure you’re pitching your article to a publisher that has a good fit for it.

There are many different approaches to health writing, and you’ll need to find the one that works best for you. The most important thing is to have a clear idea of your audience and your goal for the article. Once you know who you’re targeting and what type of article you’re writing, it will be much easier to produce high-quality health content that’s relevant to them.

When deciding on the approach you want to take, it’s also worth considering the three qualities that most lay perspectives on health seem to share. These are wholeness, pragmatism and individualism. Wholeness refers to the notion that health is a dynamic, ongoing phenomenon, rather than something that exists in isolation from other aspects of life. This means that if you have a chronic disease, such as heart disease, it will influence every aspect of your life. For instance, it will affect your work performance and how you interact with your family and friends.