I wanted to share with you a quip from an article that I read about rising health care costs for corporations. It is a long article but I wanted to summarize it with two important points: the road map of chronic illness and what employers can do to help their employees:
Chronic Illness Road Map:
- One day you wake up and realize that you put on a few extra pounds.
- You join a gym, try a few diets but still seem to be gaining weight.
- As we grow older the demands of life, job, stress, family, etc. chip away at our time to exercise and ability to consume healthy rational meals .
- An annual doctor’s visit reveals that you are clinically overweight and fast approaching the Obese category. A blood sugar test reveals that you are prediabetic.
- “Not Me! The test is wrong”: This is the most common response.
- Statistically within in 24 months from becoming clinically overweight (A BMI above 24.9) and without a specific customized lifestyle modification plan (not a pill) you will become obese (BMI of 30+).
- Chronic Illness #1: Statistically within 24 to 60 months after becoming Obese you will become prediabetic or type 2 diabetic.
- Chronic Illness #2: Now that you are Obese, statistically you are now more likely to have some type of cardiovascular disease.
- Chronic Illness #3: Now that you are Obese, statistically you are more likely to have some type of chronic join pain or injury as your joints were not made to support the amount of stress your excess weight has placed on them.
- 1 out of every 2 American adults has at least one chronic illness.
- A chronically ill person’s life revolves around costly disease management.
Top 5 Employer Solutions:
1.Investigate self funding vs. fully insured health insurance options to learn which case allows for greater flexibility and possible cost savings.
2. Seek out and align prevention programs with corporate objectives:
There are many prevention and workplace wellness programs in today’s marketplace some of which can be customized to meet your organizations objectives. Weight loss and obesity prevention programs offer by far the largest return on investment.
3. Declare a Corporate Culture of Health and Wellness:
A culture is the result of lifestyles, if your company’s leadership declares it AND lives it, then your organization will follow.
4. Recognize and Reward Prevention:
No need for expensive awards, simple individual recognition of a commitment to personal wellness and disease prevention goes a long way. Prevention rewards like paid vacation days or even leaving work a few hours early on a Friday are low cost incentives and offer real currency to employees.
5. Walking the Walk: Avoid sponsoring unhealthy lunches/snack/breakfast and replace them with small healthy meals. Allow for 30 minutes of physical active breaks daily.
If you would like help in implementing a healthier work place or programs at your work site, N2SHAPE has over 30 years experience working with corporate fitness from private industry to government. If you would like a quick and complimentary consult over the phone or in person about what you can do to reduce health care costs and help your work force get healthy, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703)9064413.
The link to the article: http://healthyworkforce.