Outsourcing Wellness Programs

Posted on March 23rd, 2010 in Employee Relations, Third-party Support, Wellness Programs

Outsourcing Wellness ProgramsWhy would a company opt to outsource janitorial services, accounting support or even plant care and maintenance yet attempt to self-manage a wellness program for employees?  Outsourcing wellness is extremely efficient and beneficial for business of all sizes and types.  Here are 5 reasons to outsource your company’s wellness program management.

1.  Expertise – Most employees are not formally trained regarding health or wellness initiatives, thus they lack the knowledge and expertise to handle such programs properly.  Human resources and wellness are not one in the same.  With a competent third-party provider at the helm, wellness programs offer better content, activities and parameters for measurable success.

2.  Best Practices – A wellness program provider is responsible for staying informed of the most current best practices for true health management and long term results.  Without an external resource, a company would be internally responsible for researching information  and trends to lead wellness programs effectively.

3.  Prioritization – When “wellness” is simply an added task for an employee, it will not receive the attention or momentum it deserves.  Because employees were hired for other, more pertinent roles, they simply can’t divert efforts or energies to wellness initiatives when other priorities arise.  By outsourcing wellness, the program always gets the nurturing and attention it requires.

4.  No Conflict of Interest – Relying on a third-party source for wellness implementation allows employees to participate more openly and freely, as they needn’t report into a co-worker regarding matters of personal health.  Many employees may be hesitant to participate in weigh-ins or discuss health matters with HR employees yet would be willing to connect with outsourced leadership in the quest to get healthy.

5.  Trust – By outsourcing wellness, a company keeps a clear and immovable line between HR records, benefits claims and health records.  Participating employees find comfort in knowing their wellness initiatives won’t intermingle with matters of HR or benefits claims. They’ll trust the company’s motives for the program, leading to overall, more measurable success.

Help Prevent Employee Health Problems

Posted on March 23rd, 2010 in Chronic Disesases, Employee Relations, Health Screenings, Stages of Prevention, Wellness Programs

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

While matters of healthcare may not be that simplistic, it’s certainly true that prevention of illness is much simpler (and less expensive) than treatment of illness.  Health problems come with heavy tolls, from loss of wages, productivity and quality of life to high costs of care in a system already overburdened.  That’s why corporate wellness programs are excellent investments for companies.  Why not focus on keeping people well rather than treating and medicating them after they’re already sick?

In the Three Stages of Prevention, we see the progression of disease, as well as the tools of intervention that aid in response and can help lead to positive results.  Statistics show that the costs involved with Stage One, disease avoidance, are measurably less than with Stage Two, early detection, or Stage Three, established disease.  By the time disease has taken hold, there is often the need for ongoing medication, doctors’ visits, case management and other health support.  In contrast, disease prevention involves only health assessments, lifestyle coaching, exercise and education.

3 Stages of Prevention

For employers looking to offer value above and beyond existing benefit packages for employees, contain overall healthcare costs and maximize workforce productivity, corporate wellness programs are the right solution.  Third party wellness management incorporates a culture of wellness into the corporate root system and teaches employees to live healthier and avoid disease.  Additionally, it builds in mechanisms to catch health issues through early detection and stave off problematic health issues early in the stages of prevention.

Does Exercise Really Decrease Cancer Risk?

Posted on March 23rd, 2010 in Cancer, Exercise, Weight Management, Wellness Coaching

Does Exercise Really Decrease Cancer Risk?Perhaps you’ve heard reports about exercise serving as a deterrent to cancers.  And if you’ve caught those headlines, it certainly seems encouraging to know that added activity could have additional positive benefits.

Here’s the important truth about this useful news.  You must accumulate 30 or more minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week to make a real difference in your risk.  Your exercise level should contribute to maintenance of a healthy weight.  Overweight or obese people are at higher cancer risk than those at normal weight.

Increasing your daily activity by parking farther away from the grocery store or taking a flight of stairs at work is not enough exercise to lower your cancer risk.  If the primary goal is to hold a healthy weight, you’ve got to be active enough to make that happen.

One-third of  the 500,000+ cancer deaths that occur in the U.S.annually can be traced to diet and habits of physical activity.  To put that statistic in perspective, it’s about  of tobacco-related cancer deaths.*  Researcher Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity for the American Cancer Society, states “For years, we’ve told people what habits to adopt to lower their cancer risk, but it has become increasingly clear we need to create environments that make it easier to make healthy choices.”* Therefore, accumulating 30 or more minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week along with a healthy diet can help reduce your cancer risk.

In other words, being health comes back to exercising and eating right once again.

* Sources Cited
Kushi, L. (2006, September). CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. News Release, American Cancer Society. , pp. 254-281.
Warner, J. (2006, September/October). Cancer Health Center. Retrieved April 2010, from WebMD : http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20060928/do-real-exercise-to-prevent-cancer

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