As 2016 rolls around, are you considering implementing a new wellness regimen for yourself? Is your employer going to introduce a new set of wellness challenges and incentives? How long do you think these resolutions will last? What do you want to achieve?
Let’s have dessert first instead of saving results for last: wellness does work, with the proper structure in place.
Consider these outcomes-based programs run by Bravo Wellness
45 accounts, over 3 years, encompassing approximately 37,000 participants total
- Blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Nicotine use
The top ten of the 45 groups had more significant changes than the bottom ten because the top ten had more aggressive wellness goals: aiming for a change of BMI to <27.5 and greater financial incentives ($1,100 vs $500 possible reward to earn).
These results show that if you want to win the game, you (and/or your company) have to put skin in the game.
So how do you build a program to generate good results? The three basic parts of wellness programs can be broken down thusly.
- Screening activities to identify health risks: Health Risk Assessments, biometrics, annual physical
- Preventive interventions to address health risks: Telephonic or in-person coaching for high-risk population, devising a plan to address most common risks
- Health promotion activities to promote a healthy lifestyle: wellness challenges, healthier food and drink options in vending machines, community service opportunities
What makes these program components special and engaging? These are some of the themes behind successful wellness programs (a very shallow overview; see Sources for more detail):
- Engagement: Encouraging participation with meaningful incentives and disincentives
- Nutrition for life: Learning about healthy foods and ways of eating that are for life, not just temporary fixes
- Fitness for life: Making fitness part of everyday activity instead of a big, intimidating to-do
- Community: Healthy people in a healthy human environment
- Sustainability: No one-off programs; let’s make this last all year and more
- Personal Wellbeing: Mental health is just as important as physical health
- Financial Security: Education on managing debt and future planning
- Lifelong Learning: Keeping the brain healthy and elastic
An addition to the internal workings of wellness programs is patience. Physical, mental, environmental, and cultural change takes time! You don’t lose weight overnight, and you don’t build habits in three days. However, if you start now, you’ll get to your goal faster than if you start next year.
Wondering about workplace wellness for 2016? Want to find a program tailored to your organization? Contact us for support.
- Pshock, Jim. “Is Wellness Worth It,” Health Insurance Underwriter, November 2015, 20-23. http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/publication/?i=277829
- Sewell, Jaime. “The Elements of Wellness,” Health Insurance Underwriter, November 2015, 30-33. http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/publication/?i=27782930-33