Corporate Wellness Solutions | Karēlia

 Do you remember being a kid and playing outside all day every summer? We woke up each morning, scarfed down our breakfasts and ran outside to play with all of the neighborhood kids. I remember moving all of the time. I never wanted to sit still. I hated to stop playing to eat lunch or clean my room or whatever it was that I was being asked to do that interrupted my playtime. I think about that now, as I sit at my desk, thinking about writing a blog about a big contributor to our nation’s poor health: sedentary lifestyle. iStock_000039619356Small_Stress_HELP.jpg

I know that I sit a lot. I work a job that requires me to focus and sit at my desk. I know I should get up and move around but sometimes, I just get too comfortable or involved in a project that I don’t even realize I’ve been sitting for hours. I’m not alone… on average adults sit 10 hours per day (Source). Think about that for a moment: that is almost HALF of the day and don’t forget we spend 8 hours of our day sleeping, which means we are moving around only 6 hours each day. Are you making the most of your 6 hours of “up time”? 

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs

Obesity is one of the top causes of death in America and a primary driver of healthcare costs. In fact, according to a recent State Of Obesity report, “Obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are a healthy weight” (Source). In an effort to reduce costs, more companies are offering proactive wellness programs to their employees. These programs are aimed at reducing obesity, improving nutrition and increasing activity to help lower employee healthcare costs.

Unfortunately, obesity and heart disease are inherently sensitive subjects for many people, carrying a large weight of societal baggage. Obesity in particular carries a certain stigma about personality, laziness, body image, self-esteem and more. Because of this, sometimes the highest risk employees are unresponsive to wellness programs—when they are likely to reap the most benefits.

Helping your high-risk employees develop a healthy lifestyle can lead to fewer doctor's office visits, tests, prescription drugs, sick days, emergency room visits and admissions to the hospital—all of these factors influence healthcare costs.

Continue reading to gain a basic understanding of how wellness programs can address employee obesity.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs

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Here at Karelia Health we promote a plant-based eating lifestyle for those who are at risk for chronic diseases, such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. While plant-based eating may not appeal to you, it is worthwhile to do the research to understand how your body functions without animal proteins. Below is a great article from the folks at Forks Over Knives that outlines the "7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat".

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Topics: Disease Management, Change & Save Lives, Healthy Recipes | Nutrition

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During the winter months, I long to wrap myself up in a blanket and sit by the fire. Even if it isn’t bitterly cold outside, winter makes me feel cold inside and out. Since I can’t just lounge around the house all day, I try to stay warm and cozy with my food so soup is typically number one on my weekly menus.  

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Topics: Healthy Recipes | Nutrition

Sleep: We all know we should get at least 7 hours of zzzzzz a night but many of us, at least 60% of us, are not getting enough sleep (Source). Let’s examine the issues associated with lack of sleep and how you can improve your own sleep patterns starting today.

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Topics: Disease Management, Healthy Recipes | Nutrition

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Not Every Corporate Wellness Solution Works.

While most corporate wellness solutions are well-intended, many fail because they are too generic and often focus on non-critical populations using non-impactful tactics.

While getting people to take part in these types of programs is intended to represent the employers concern for their employees, these activities lack the proper wellness strategies needed to actually make a real difference. And in some cases, these corporate wellness solutions can be so insufficient that they end up doing more harm than good.

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Topics: Change & Save Lives

With the New Year upon us, a lot of people have made resolutions and the most common resolution is to lose weight. However, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, less than 50% of people who make a resolution actually follow through with their goals. Becoming healthier shouldn't be complicated but people find it difficult to stay dedicated because they do not take the appropriate measures to achieve their goals. This article will go over some steps to take to implement a healthier lifestyle and stay motivated throughout your journey. 

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Have A Goal And Plan 

If you just tell yourself that you want to be healthier but don't have a goal and plan in place, the likeliness that you'll stay with it is low. You'll find yourself putting it off or never being truly motivated because you are not actually working towards a specific goal. When making your goals, make sure they are realistic and obtainable. Don't set yourself up for failure or try any harmful diet plans to reach unrealistic ambitions that can be harmful to your health. If your goal is to improve your overall well-being or if you need results to aid chronic disease, creating a detailed plan to achieve your goals will help you stay on track to maintain a healthier lifestyle. 

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Topics: Change & Save Lives, Healthy Recipes | Nutrition

Dollarphotoclub_85029805.jpgAs HR departments face unprecedented pressure to demonstrate wellness program accountability and impact on employee’s health habits, worksites of all sizes are bolstering their analysis efforts. Establishing the ROI on wellness is an intricate process for many companies, as some programs are not structured to provide enough trackable data, and it is inherently difficult to translate inherent successes into dollar value. These issues can be compounded by lack of time, resources, unfair expectations, and an aspiration for quick results. So, to help combat the difficulties associated with measuring wellness program success, we offer several tips to help you understand wellness program results.

First Step: Review Data | Asking The Right Questions

The obvious first step in this process is to check with your benefits department to make sure the firm is receiving medical claims data reports from your health plan. If you are not receiving reports, make sure that you inform the health plan provider that your organization needs quality claims data reports. If you have to begin evaluation without the benefit of claims reports, this may be a good time to work with all stakeholders to implement a model program. On the other hand, if you do have access to medical claims reports, your team can begin to review them for valuable information.

Taking Stock Of Employee Health Trends

Assuming you have gathered benchmark data from the start of your wellness plan, compare current data to the initial starting point. Measure your company’s rates of smoking, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and other key factors to see if they have improved. If they have, it’s a good indication that your wellness program will have a positive return on investment. While these results may not directly translate into immediate material profit for your business, they will result in cost savings over the long term.

Review Absenteeism Trends

Naturally, the reduction of absenteeism varies by company, yet most organizations that implement wellness programs see improvement in this area. In fact, studies at Dupont and General Mills found 14-19% reductions in absenteeism (Source). The idea is simple: wellness programs aim to keep employees healthy, and in turn, healthier employees tend to miss less work.

Consider a tobacco cessation program’s influence on a smoker’s health, or a flu shot’s impact on the company during flu season. You should notice a decrease in absenteeism, and if you don’t, it may be time to adjust your strategy and consult with wellness experts

Is There Enough Organizational Support?

When you are evaluating your worksite wellness program, it’s important to analyze the level of organizational support, which includes how committed your organization is to employee health, encompassing the deliberate steps you take to support healthy habits (i.e. the programs, policies, and procedures you have put into place). This step is useful for determining weak spots in your program. Many companies that struggle with wellness program implementation find that there are leaders within the company who don’t fully embrace wellness ideology—in order to be successful, this must change.

Ideally, you should establish a wellness committee that meets once a week, representing employees from all levels of the company. The committee can help shape the budget to make sure the program stays effective. Basically, you need to make sure your wellness committee is equipped with the resources needed to create the best possible program.

Conduct Periodic Wellness Surveys

It’s important to conduct periodic surveys to receive feedback from your workforce. These surveys make it easier to compare program impacts and ways to improve your wellness program between subgroups in your workforce. You can make key insights about the impact of programs on groups that profile similarly and enable comparisons of those that participated in an initiative versus those that did not.

Additionally, if you need more information about detailed wellness program analysis, the SHRM 2014 report will certainly be helpful.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs

It's common to hear people say that working at a desk job has made them gain weight or become sluggish throughout the day. Avoid getting into a rut at work, by eating healthier and staying active in the workplace. This article will describe some of the workplace woes and steps you can take to improve your health. 

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Topics: Change & Save Lives, Corporate Wellness Programs, Healthy Recipes | Nutrition

Dollarphotoclub_94164375.jpgWhile corporate wellness programs can help businesses combat rising healthcare costs for high-risk employees; it's not simple to equate a dollar amount with the effect of healthier more engaged employees. However, wellness programs also provide your company a useful recruiting and hiring tool.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs

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