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We've been getting several questions that I believe are more about General Health than on Fitness & Nutrition. It might make me look like a jackass for closing questions from users who just joined the site, but I truly believe these don't belong on the site.

Examples:

I understand that seeing a lot of questions about injuries might give someone the impression that the site would also allow questions about other problems you might be having. However, unless the problem has any influence on exercising, I don't think we should be catering to these.

So what do you guys think, how can we clarify our FAQ that we don't want these questions and where should the border be?

PS: please start using your close votes, it helps make the mods look less like a bunch dictators ;-)

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    I agree, they're more medicinal and health related than Fitness & Nutrition related. – Nathan Wheeler Jun 3 '11 at 21:19
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    +1 for the most important PS ever. – Borror0 Jun 3 '11 at 23:41
  • Chop the title. – lamwaiman1988 Aug 16 '11 at 4:14
  • Btw there is a health SE proposal. – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 19 '14 at 20:33
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Fitness and Nutrition - Stack Exchange is for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Topics include exercise and training, nutrition and diets, wellness, and activities related to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness.

I think that one big ambiguity exists in the word wellness from the FAQ. This is an open term that doesn't have a well-defined (no pun intended!) meaning and could be interpreted to stretch quite far into the realm of general health and lifestyle.

Consider this answer (and vote accordingly) as a proposal to eliminate the word wellness from the FAQ text.

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  • agreed, I removed "wellness" from the FAQ text. You could also have easily done this as a diamond community mod, just click "edit" on that faq section. – Jeff Atwood Sep 1 '11 at 3:29
  • @Jeff Understood, was just waiting until I felt I had consensus. Not sure when that officially occurred, but thanks for making the change. – G__ Sep 13 '11 at 13:03
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These questions should be flagged (as you pointed out) and closed. I am okay with having those questions if there is some connection to fitness though and if there is more background. Answering someone's question about "general health" is very hard when there is no background information and the question is so broad and open-ended.

There is nothing inherently wrong with those questions, and it's possible the scope of the site might change and evolve over time. Exercise and nutrition contribute to general health, but that doesn't mean the definition should be twisted around to fit other perspectives. I consider the the lack of depth to be more of a problem than being off-topic, like the real question is being hidden another one.

I do want to see people improve their own questions and ask more complex ones instead. That is being communicated very clearly in the comments on many of the questions. However, some people don't seem to understand that and sometimes take it personally. Exercise and nutrition contribute to health, but that doesn't mean the defintion should be twisted around to fit others' perspectives. Maybe those definitions have to be spelled out more explicitly in the FAQ.

Some of the other posts here on meta such as recovering from illness/injuries and medical questions are other examples of questions that could serve as guidelines of what should be closed.

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I think you shouldn't blame anyone. They are not jackass. Just the title and FAQ are misleading.

Fitness and Nutrition - Stack Exchange is for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Topics include exercise and training, nutrition and diets, wellness, and activities related to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness.

Those terms are confusing. If the community agree they want nothing but fitness, it is better to rename the site to "Fitness" only, because nutrition and diet for fitness is a subset of fitness itself. It don't need to pop up in the title.

And how do you define wellness? In what point of view?

You guys should have a vote, because you considered this as very important to your site.

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I feel there is very thin line between these two. I feel its subjective.

Wouldn't general health improve with exercises?

Are you suggesting that exercises have limitation in improving your health?

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    Oh I certainly think that exercise improves health, but that general health questions don't have to influence your exercise. The FAQ reads: Fitness and Nutrition - Stack Exchange is for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Topics include exercise and training, nutrition and diets, wellness, and activities related to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. – Ivo Flipse Jun 3 '11 at 23:31
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I currently believe Fitness and General Health are divided by physical pursuit of ability.

I see Fitness as the active pursuit of physical capability, whereas Health is a prevention of disease or prolonging of life. Fitness and Diet questions are about what foods and exercises are a good idea, or how they work, yadda yadda yadda. Health questions are about how to live and how medicine works.

As Ivo suggests, fitness is a subset of health.

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