Stanford WELL For Life

What is the Stanford WELL for Life Study?

The Stanford WELL for Life Study (WELL) is a unique longitudinal study that uses novel methods to define, assess, and promote the multiple dimensions of well-being in the U.S. and globally. The study collects comprehensive and multidimensional data from participants across six international study sites that span from the San Francisco Bay Area to China (Hangzhou), Taiwan (Taipei), Taiwan (Changhua), Singapore, and Thailand (Bangkok). 


Well-Being extends beyond physical health and the absence of disease; we believe that individuals can actively improve their own well-being and that of their comunities. With the help of our global team, Stanford Global WELL is building the science of well-being and learning how to improve well-being in people around the world. 

How We Measure Well-Being

WELL uses a data-driven approach to define and measure well-being, identify factors related to well-being, and evaluate the impact of interventions on well-being. We used qualitative interviews (semi-structured narrative interviews) to identify the key domains (components) of well-being for individuals from various countries and cultures. The petals of the WELL flower reflect the components of well-being. We developed a novel WELL survey tool (a questionnaire with 76-100 questions for various countries) to assess and measure well-being. We then established an algorithm to combine the scoring of these questions into one overall index (WELL score). Currently, the overall score ranges from 0 to 100, with each domain having a maximum of 10 points. Each WELL participant receives an overall score and 10 domain-specific scores. To date, the score's performance on psychometric characteristics (personality traits) is good and is relevant and useful in the four multicultural WELL sites. 

The Discovery of Well-Being Components from our Study Sites

WELL Bay Area

The Bay Area site has recruited about 5,000 individuals. In regards to longitudinal data, over 400 participants completed a second WELL survey at least one year after their first survey, enabling us to investigate changes in well-being (WELL score) over time, factors related to these changes, and where the most effective interventions can be directed. Around 1,750 WELL Bay Area participants took part in a domain ranking exercise. They ranked the 10 WELL domains in order of personal importance to their well-being. The participants varied widely in their domain ranking, but physical health, emotional health, and finances were chosen by the most people as mong their top three domains. We are examining how people's choices are associated with both demographics and their levels of well-being. 

WELL China

On May 26, 2019, under the leadership of Professor Shankuan Zhu, Principal Investigator of WELL China, WELL China raced to the finish line, completing baseline recruitment of 10,000 individuals. Data collection included in-person surveys of over 1,000 questions; clinical assessment of blood pressure, EKG, body fat, eye health, and abdominal ultrasound; and biospecimens, including blood, stoll, hair, and toenails. 

Learn more about WELL China

WELL Singapore

WELL Singapore, a collaboration with the National University of Singapore, joined the WELL Global Family in 2017, and has been recruiting rapidly and efficiently. To date, over 7,500 individuals have been enrolled. We congratulate Dr. Rob Van Dem, Principal Investigator of WELL Singapore, Dr. Hwee Lin Wee, Co-investigator, and Linda Tan, Project Manager, for their success!

WELL Thailand

WELL Thailand joined the WELL family in 2019. Stanford WELL is collaborating with a team at Chulalongkorn University led by Principal Investigator Dr. Nipat Pichayayothin. WELL Thailand has completed qualitative interviews of 50 individuals in an effort to illuminate the nature of well-being among people residing in Bangkok. We welcome WELL Thailand to the Global WELL Family!

Learn more about WELL Thailand

WELL Taiwan

Collaborating with Fu Jen University, WELL Taiwan focuses on collecting biological specimens that will be used to identify and explore biomarkers of wellness. WELL Taiwan provides a platform for community-based interventions to identify effective strategies for promoting improved wellness at individual and population levels. The data will provide pioneering insights into the complex interplay between economic growth, health behaviors, wellness and chronic disease outcomes.