workplace wellness

Subsidies vs. Penalties…Which do you Prefer?

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Wisdom, Workplace Wellness Leave a comment   , , , , ,

happy people

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you hear the words “subsidy” and “penalty” which one are you more likely to respond to?  Do you like the idea of getting some positive assistance, or does the idea of getting docked or penalized resonate with you?  When discussing how to encourage participation in and adherence to wellness programming, subsidies and penalties are two sides of the same coin; you can either reward someone for doing the right thing (subsidy), or punish them for a lack of participation leading to poor health (penalty).  It boils down to motivation, and what motivates each individual.  In the case of workplace wellness, it also depends on what kind of a culture the employer wishes to foster.

If a company wants to promote health and wellness as positive, beneficial work-life elements, subsidizing healthy people makes sense.  If everyone starts at the same baseline, and people are rewarded for exercising, eating well, maintaining / monitoring health conditions, and stress reduction activities, those people can feel good about their accomplishments and see tangible reward for healthy living; on the other hand, people who do nothing get nothing.  Doing the reverse, punishing people for a lack of health, would seemingly create bitterness and resentment around the idea of health.

At the end of the day, companies need to align their benefits practices with overall company culture; we live in a world where fewer people fully separate from work at the end of each day as more people are working in flexible environments that inevitably create mix work and personal time together. Values-driven wellness goes beyond the office and helps employees to incorporate health into every aspect of life.

 


Wellness at Work – Let’s Take a New Approach

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom, Workplace Wellness Leave a comment   , , , , ,

veggies and lady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workplace wellness is a hot topic… and a burgeoning $6 billion dollar a year industry.  Unfortunately, a recent study by RAND, commissioned by the Obama Administration, concludes that wellness programming does NOT produce statistically significant benefits to employees, while costing employers, on average, $521 per employee per year.  How is this possible? How can health-promotion NOT lead to positive, measurable results?  The answer is simple – Both employers and program providers are focusing on the WRONG topics and interventions.

Typical programs are focused on short-term goals, like getting a health screening or going to the doctor; more involved programs might include smoking cessation counseling.  But trying to get blood pressure monitored without other lifestyle intervention, or getting someone to stop smoking without properly addressing the myriad behavioral issues surrounding smoking on a larger level is pointless.  Small changes may be observed, but as the RAND report shows people almost always return to their original status quo.

Programs needs to focus first and foremost on long-term health habits – creating and sustaining healthy behavior that becomes part and parcel to each person’s daily life.  Moreover, these programs need to be individualized to mesh with company culture, complete with adaptations that reflect individual employees as well as larger company value systems.  Successful programs will address the whole person, in and out of the office, and encourage camaraderie and peer support while fostering a positive environment of health.

Thus, the top 3 most important considerations for a corporate wellness program are the following:

  1. Aligning wellness programming with company culture, creating a visionary values-driven unique approach to health.
  2. Addressing the whole person, in and out of work, and providing individualized support to achieve this goal recognizing that people will have unique priorities and stressors, requiring different intervention techniques to be successful.
  3. Deliver thorough but slow and steady change – no one likes a shock to the system,so programming should reflect the pace at which buy-in is both observed and fostered.

Biometric screenings and other sophisticated-sounding but realistically underwhelming tools are a thing of the past; from here on out wellness providers must stay focused on meaningful, values-driven programming if they are to prevent, or even reverse, the upward trend of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other (primarily) lifestyle-related illnesses.


Calories Are Not All Created Equal..Learn to Lose Weight Fast!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Workplace Wellness Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

salmonsalad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A calorie is a calorie is a…fat blasting machine! When you eat the right kinds of calories, and more importantly in the right combinations, you can turn your food into a tool for thermogenic weight loss.  This means that your own body, through efficiency and digestion, is able to burn more calories and fat than if you ate the same amount of less healthy or less productive kinds of calories.  Here are 3 things you can do today to turn your body into a fat burning machine:

  1. Eat equal parts protein and carbohydrates – when carbs and protein are in balance, it stabilizes blood sugar which prevents fat accumulation.
  2. Eat small, balanced meals 6 times a day – Eating small meals every 2-3 hours keeps your body on its toes and in a state of digestion…this lights up the internal calorie-torching furnace that exists within all of us.  This also helps stabilize blood sugar, as mentioned before, which promotes a sense of satiety and keeps the body regulated as far as knowing that the next meal is right around the bend.
  3. Healthy fats, in moderation, are our friends – Healthy fats, such as nuts, olive oil, oily fish and avocado are a boon to health; fat aids in nutrient absorption and also promotes a feeling of fullness.  Make sure not to go crazy with the trail mix, though; each handful can easily have 200 calories and it adds up fast!  A 1/2 ounce portion of your choice of nuts makes a great snack.

Start small…Pick one of these items and do it for a week or two…then do the next, then finally the third.  Making small, steady change leads to a lifetime of good habits!

Check back for tips on how to put these principles to work while on the go, or at the office!

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Workplace Happiness…it IS a Big Deal!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Wisdom, Workplace Wellness Leave a comment   , , , ,

TV-Mad Men-Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the U.S. people spend the majority of their lives at work; therefore, it makes sense to find ways to make that time enjoyable and fulfilling.  While one’s job might not always be the stuff of childhood dreams or ultimate passion, there are some things employers can do to align careers with personal goals and desires.

Check out this Huffington Post article on the topic of workplace improvements; it is full of interesting research and makes 3 important points to remember with respect to work-site health and wellness:

  1. Work-life balance is essential: We all need time to attend to personal matters and responsibilities beyond the office. Employers are smart to assist employees with the likes financial planning assistance, child care and flexible hours.
  2. Health and Safety are priorities: Workplace health and wellness programming, including fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle/stress management can mean the difference between expensive, sick employees and proactive, healthy and dedicated workers.  Investing in such programming is also a way to attract top talent!
  3. Employees need Recognition: Everyone wants to be acknowledged for a job well done, and such accolades can go a long way towards improving morale and loyalty.  People who feel good are more productive and efficient, and feeling valued also improves self esteem, which improves health.  A positive feedback loop is created!

In this day and age there are so many ways in which employers can give back to their staff…health and wellness services are one of the BEST ways to let employees know that their overall well being is of utmost importance to the company.

Improve your bottom line, figuratively AND literally, financially and physically, with health and fitness!

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