Chronic disease IS the 21st century epidemic.
At the turn of the 20th century, major causes of illness and death were infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Thanks to vaccines, environment, social and technological improvements, today these post a significantly smaller threat.
Today, it’s chronic disease. Chronic diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems. Amazingly, chronic diseases are among the most preventable. Three modifiable health-damaging behaviors -tobacco use, lack of physical activity and poor eating habits - cause the majority of problems. And these three contribute almost equally to the health challenge. If your company is serious about controlling health care costs, you can’t ignore the power of prevention.
Prevention – Key to Addressing Health Care Cost Issues
Prevention is significantly smarter than spending health care dollars just to treat disease. Treat the disease without changing the behaviors that caused the disease .... and employees will be back with the disease for expensive treatment over and over.
You Can Help Employees with Physical Activity….PREVENTION at the workplace.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, physical inactivity is a leading contributor to disease and disability. Everyone has heard (ad nauseum) about the impact of exercise and physical activity on heart health. Were you aware that physical inactivity accounts for 22% of colon cancer, 18% of osteoporotic fractures and 12% of diabetes and hypertension? The stats for how physical activity can improve health, prevent disease go on and on.
But at Work?
Yes, you can create a true culture of wellness, bring focus and priority to being healthy and getting regular physical activity to work. And you won’t hurt productivity. You may even improve it. Proactive Partners can show you how to do this. Visit their website – www.beproactive.com.
Do at least 3 of these things simultaneously and it will have an impact in your work environment:
Education. It’s simple. Teach people, educate them on the importance and the
benefit of physical activity. And teach people “how” to exercise. Lectures and mini-workshops can
teach people how to exercise at their desk, during the lunch hour, at home while watching
TV. Maybe it's obvious to you, but most people don't know what to do.
Activity Breaks. Communicate that the 15 minute break in the morning and the
afternoon would be a great time to take a short walk, climb stairs, do some lunges
down the hallway, do some simple stretches. And actually set up “formal” activity break
locations and activities. It will get people’s attention and some people will participate. They
will benefit from the activity and probably be more productive because they are more
awake/alert because of the exercise.
On-Site Coach. Yes, add overhead. A small cost that can have significant
impact. A coach at the worksite can get people moving on a regular basis…and the data
says that your employees only need 20 minutes of moderate physical activity several times a
week to get health benefits. Proactive Partners can show you how a coach can make this
work … impact hundreds of your employees daily for less than you are spending on phone
coaching. Go to www.beproactive to learn more.
On-site Fitness Center. If you already have one, look for ways to encourage
increased utilization. Talk with Proactive Partners (www.beproactive.com) for ideas on how
to make this space more impactful for employee health. And if you don’t have one, think
about it. Proactive Partners can help you think through the cost benefit of this action