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  • Diving deeper, however, at its core wellness describes 
    1.  a collection of routine actions [behaviors, habits, lifestyles or way of life]  and associated their outcomes [health goals, fitness level, mental resilience, financially well, etc.], that we do to deliver and sustain progressively better states of health, well-being or safety for individuals, their groups, and the organizations or societies they are apart.
  • Wellness can be thought about or described from two perspectives, as  
    1. [1] a state – an endpoint or goal to be achieved – such as having consistently good blood pressure.
    2. and [2] a process – an ongoing set of actions that result in progress being made towards achieving a better state of being –  such as consistently doing moderate exercises for at least 30 minutes daily, for five or more days per week.

  • Wellness differences – not all ‘wellness’ are the same!. Like medicine, wellness has conventional [global consensus] and unconventional [location or group-specific consensus] approaches. In the workplace, the conventional approach is used as the default gold standard approach for wellness. Unconventional approaches to wellness are very popular, most, however,  lack strong research support. 
  1. They are however not incompatible with the conventional [evidence-based] approach. They should not be confused with the conventional approach, which should be understood properly before trying to integrate both. 
  2.  Unconventional approaches to wellness are sometimes called alternative practice, or the oriental ways to develop our health, or labeled as a trending fad of wellness – typically provided through catchy products, quick-results services, and celebrity-endorsed [vs. robust research-endorsed] activity routines
  • Typically the benefits of wellness go above and beyond the common desire to be just ‘healthy’ or to ‘not be sick’

  • The ultimate objective is achieving and sustaining high states of flourishing, thriving, and being empowered for unleashing our best potential.


  • This is in direct contrast to our traditionally thought of medical/health outcomes, which focus on restoring functions or healing from a state of disease or loss, back to being OK or in ‘good health.

  • Continuous improvement towards a better state of health, well-being,  and safety
  • Holistic or multidimensional vs unidimensional –  the fittest person you know, can easily still be unwell, even when they have no active disease, due to poor relationships, bad financial practices, etc.
  • Universal and vital for all to strive for in balance, if done out of balances, will itself creates stress and illness
  • Not just the absence of disease, but also goes into the growth and development of self, others, and our spaces.
  • There are measurable indicators that can be assessed for our improvement or change in each area, for example, blood pressure,  pulse or fitness for our physical health/well-being and resilience or stress for our mental health/well-being.

When the personal/individual outcomes of wellness are achieved in a group/team or across an organization it often results in greater positive outcomes such as physical or psychological safety and the development of caring cultures.

  • At work, our objective is to develop a Well Workplace. One that contains all the elements needed for each individual and their teams to optimally strive for and achieve an optimal state of wellness, health, safety, and  well-being

  • Why is a focus on wellness at work so important/critical?
    • More than a half [½] of the time that we are awake daily and most of the productive portion of our life, is spent devoted to working. 
    • This often limits the opportunities we can access after or before work to create  adequate balance to avert potential health and life complications
    • Work can be just a job, a vehicle to get to our desired career, or an integral part of our life’s work or calling. Depending on how you view and use it:
      • There are unique and very strong influences/forces at work that powerfully directs our thoughts and routine actions away from a balanced focus on our health, well-being, and even our safety. These forces includes,
        • the tasks within our duties, our workload, work deadlines, paycheck aspirations/needs, other work-related aspirations, the authority given instructions and perceived expectations, etc. 
    • Workplace wellness is the solution to restore balance and more. Wellness at work works well to support the creation of an effective balance between work and life needs, both in the present and over time. 
  • To create a good workplace, the effort is not only placed on the development of well members and teams, but also on sustaining well experiences, places, and routines. When this is done well, a culture of health, wellness, well-being, and safety manifest, which in turn sustain the results of the wellness team.

 

Health insurance premiums are escalating every year. Currently costs range from $30 000 – $ 90 000 per annum / employee for low to medium claim history organizations. Your insurance premiums increases annually with inflation, through the exchange rate, the age and risk profile of our staff, and the claim patterns of your staff , just to name a few.  US research, has shown that private business expense for health services as a percentage of profit was 40% before tax and 58% after tax. Often close to 5% of our gross budget – local studies not yet available
Health related expenditure: How much can workplace wellness programs save?
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2013), researchers have measured cost reductions of on average 18 percent for a typical employee and up to 28 percent for older workers. Savings in medical costs were attributed simple reductions in as little as seven (7) key health risk factors: physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, smoking, overweight/obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and alcohol abuse. The Cost Per Risk Factor: US Data shows that the average annual cost to an employer for each employee type is : Depression- $2,413, High Glucose- $1,450, Overweight -$580, Stress- $1,132, Tobacco smoker- $713, No Exercise- $709, High Blood Pressure- $1,257 . Obese employees are almost twice as likely to be absent from work as normal weight employees because of their higher rate of weight related and enhanced diseases
Always remember that, your health card usage data has many component:
  1. While ill health [from poor prevention and intervention habits] tends to be a major culprit. Health and wellness culture and misuse are also key areas to review
  2. It should also be remembered that health card usage tends to go up initially, after health and wellness awareness initiatives/programs are first being developed, but this then reverses as health statuses improve.
  3. Finally it should be remembered that the statistical usage[the raw summary numbers] is also a representation of the health seeking habits[ the higher the better] of you staff. This vital habit  helps you to eliminate the vastly larger costs associated with paying for complication – i.e. the price of prevention is always dramatically cheaper than the price of reversal or cure.
 
When working at a target of reducing your health card usage, some key areas of focus to consistently work at includes:
  1. More accurate and  timely self and partnered healthcare as well as appropriate early use of best practised home remedies along with progressive effective self-care skill building
  2. Prevention, deferral of onset, complication avoidance; through risk reduction for all chronic and communicable diseases. Best done through improved lifestyle and risk status modifications
  3. Routine screening with associated appropriate best practised risk reduction initiatives
  4. Education and empowerment driven, ‘healthier choices first’ behaviour for every thought, action and deed
  5. Better health and wellness sportive work environment, culture, initiatives and policies
  6. Healthier routine lifestyle practices
  7. Better personal health planning and cost reduction through risk mitigation
  8. Better routine care practices as well as complication prevention, especially through early, appropriate and timely medical consultation, this should result in prevention of complication and more expensive and time consuming recovery process
  9. Infections prevention or immune system protection and boosting practices
  10. Safety habits development and trauma prevention
  11. Engendering a strong culture of health and wellness status ownership: understanding and knowing when the need for a medical visit is truly needed
  12. Educate and empower on options for replacing casual visits, i.e. ‘just checking’: Such as online opinions can be considered
  13. Card abuse vigilance and positive reinforcement initiatives
  14. Non-use or better-use reimbursement system,such as passing on reduced premiums etc.
  15. Career development, education development  and family planning
  16. Better adoption and proper use of contraceptives
  17. Having NHF and other copay health benefits systems in active use.
 
When you are ready to tackle your premiums, you can be assured that the EMS wellness team is ready to assist. Start by using the above pointers or reminders, we are ready to offer our support to you to effectively achieve each.

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