Why Your Employees Aren’t Participating in Wellness Programs

So you have done everything right, planned a lunch and learn, booked a fantastic speaker, provided lunch, and then waited for everyone to show up.  Or you had a grand idea about a walking competition to get everyone moving more. Then the lack of participation is shocking and you are left to wonder why. According to WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) the first few steps of a successful wellness program is to survey the employees about their interests. If you skipped that step, it is like getting a teenager to clean their room, it Is not happening. Remember “wellness is something you do FOR people, not TO them”.

HealthMine, provider of a personalized health portal for employers and insurers, surveyed 1,200 consumers  about wellness programs and the reasons that hold them back from participating. Lack of time is usually high on everyone’s list., which is not surprising and below are the other barriers listed on their aggregate report:

11 Reasons Why Employees Don't Use Wellness Programs

Many of these obstacles are similar to what clients at W3 are experiencing. The employee interest survey, senior level endorsement of the program, and proper promotion can help overcome some of these objections. Also, as you continue your wellness program you need to keep a pulse on the employees by tracking participation, using surveys and feedback constructively, and be consistent. Eventually, you will see a culture shift towards healthier lifestyles and the employees privacy and security concerns will lessen.

Be transparent with your aggregate results so the employee will feel some ownership in the wellness programming. A dashboard on your intranet displaying  aggregate biometric results, participation numbers from wellness competitions, success stories, and future wellness offerings can help make your program more sustainable.  “Arming individuals with clinical data helps make wellness meaningful. But overcoming inertia to take a healthy action is the first step,” said Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine. If your Wellness Program is not getting the participation that it should contact me to analyze where you can tweak your programming, promotions, incentives, etc to have better engagement.

Download Free Wellness Calendar

Maintain Don’t Gain Competitions – Creating a Healthy Workplace

Maintain, Don't Gain Competition! - W3ins.comDid you know that the average American gains about one pound during the holidays? How much of that new found weight do you think they will lose in the new year? Not much, if any. That can add up to a lot of extra weight over the years. Help fuel a happy and healthy workplace with a friendly competition.

This season celebrate your health by making a pledge to eating right and exercising more. Choose nutritious foods, eat healthy portion sizes, exercise, and don’t forget to get enough sleep. Email or post weekly health-related articles to keep the competition fresh in their mind.

Take workplace wellness to the next level. Challenge your employees to take this Healthy Holiday Pledge or host a competition between employees. Have them weigh-in early December and weigh-out the first week in January. You may have better participation if you offer prizes to the employees or teams that maintained their original weight. Is your budget tight for incentives? Have a raffle for the winners.  Each winner can earn one raffle chance for maintaining and an additional raffle chance if they lose weight during the competition. The prize could be a “free” jeans week, an afternoon off, or a gift card to a sporting goods store.

Wallace welch & Willingham employees participate almost every year. You can hear it in the breakroom. “Gotta Maintain!” “I’m going for a walk. I have to walk off that bite of brownie!” Our employees are pumped to have a chance to win! We usually do a raffle for a cash prize or gift card. We have prizes for one group for those that maintained, and one for those who lost. It’s one of our most popular competitions. Most people don’t want to gain weight during the holidays, but need encouragement and a reason to stay strong and fight temptation.

7 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

6 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy During the HolidaysThe holidays are coming, the holidays are coming! This is a time for parties, celebrations, calorie-rich desserts, and lots of libations. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make it through the holidays without gaining weight? Metabolism is a big part of maintaining a healthy weight and/or losing weight. It is how well your body burns energy to keep up basic functions and as we get older your metabolism slows down. Increasing your metabolism would make it easier to keep off the holiday weight gain.

Ways to dial up your metabolism and have a healthy holiday season!

  1. Be active. Burn the calories before your body stores them into fat. Also, an active body is less likely to overeat or make poor food choices. If you have a flag football game scheduled for the 3 hours after dinner, you are less likely to eat too much.
  2. Eat before exercising. A light, healthy snack before you exercise will rev up your metabolism and help you burn more calories. Try a simple snack like a piece of fruit, protein shake or an egg and toast. Here is a list of 50 great pre-and post-workout snacks to give you some ideas!
  3. Eat Smart. Keep it simple; less fat, more fiber, and more water. Complex carbs are also good (fruits, vegetables, whole grains). A good tip is to fill up your plate with the healthiest options, and leave the no-so-healthy options for seconds.
  4. Sleep. Studies have shown that 8 hours sleep a day can help increase your metabolism and thus manage your weight easier.
  5. Eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast can increase your resting metabolism by 10%.
  6. Avoid fats. Most fats that you eat go straight to fat cells and are not used to burn energy. Avoid processed foods because the usually contain high levels of fat and sodium.
  7. Revitalize old recipes. Take your favorite recipes and look for substitutions to make them a little healthier. If a recipes calls for 1 stick of butter, try it with half. If you normally use canned green beans, opt for fresh cut beans. The smallest changes can make a world of difference.

So you can enjoy your holidays, just plan your festivities and keep moving.

Dial Up Your Metabolism and Make Your Holidays Healthy!

Breast Cancer Awareness and Your Employees

Breast Cancer Awareness and W3 Employees.

Breast Cancer Awareness and W3 Employees.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about spreading one simple, powerful message: detection and prevention can save lives. Talk to your employees and post articles such as this and help to bring awareness.

Early breast cancer detection and prompt treatment is vital to a successful outcome.

The size of breast cancer and how far it has spread are two of the most important factors in determining the prognosis, or the chances for survival. Early screening is critical to catching the cancer when it’s more likely to be smaller and contained in the breast.

Early Screening Recommendations

The American Cancer Society recommends that women have:

  • Clinical breast exams every 3 years in their 20s and 30s, and every year after 40
  • Annual mammograms starting at age 40
  • Awareness of how their breasts normally look and feel, so they can report any changes to their doctor for further examination

Lower your risk of breast cancer with these five behaviors.

Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your breast cancer risk. Extra weight can increase you insulin levels which are linked to some cancers.

Exercise regularly. A study from Women’s Health Initiative showed an 18% reduction in risk with only 1.5 hours per week of brisk walking. The American Cancer Society recommends a weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of high-intensity, or a mixture of both. Make sure to spread the workouts throughout the week for the most benefit.

Don’t sit too long. “Sitting is the new smoking.”  Studies have shown sitting for more than 60 minutes at a time without stretching or standing can cause irreversible health concerns. One of these concerns is the likelihood of developing cancer, especially in women. The risks increase if you sit more than 6 hours a day.

Limit alcohol. Studies have shown 2-5 alcoholic drinks a day have shown higher risks of developing cancer than those women who have one drink a day. Some research even shows as little as 3-6 glasses of wine a week can slightly increase your chance of developing breast cancer.

Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy. Many postmenopausal women consider this therapy to ease their symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, etc. Research has revealed that women that take a blend of estrogen and progestin may be more likely to increase their chance of breast cancer. Discuss this with your physician and the options to control your menopausal symptoms and if you decide to use HRT to use a minimal dosage and for the shortest amount of time necessary.


Are Your Employees Getting their Flu Shots?


Employee with Flu ShotFacts About the Flu and Flu Vaccine

Healthy adults can spread the flu virus the day before they feel sick. On average, each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu related complications. Prevention is the main defense to minimizing the risk of spreading the flu virus. Help fight the flu for yourself, your family and those around you.

Prevention Suggestions:

· Get the flu vaccine.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze.
· Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading the flu to others. The CDC recommends staying home 24 hours after the fever is gone.
· If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness. These drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick, but it suggested starting this treatment within the first two days of symptoms.

Where can you get the flu shot?

Your employees can go to participating network doctors or participating retail locations. This is a covered benefit for most groups; just remind them to show their insurance card. Check your insurance website for participating pharmacies or contact your wellness coordinator for assistance with plan information.

Keeping employees healthy and happy is important to your company.


It’s Time to Promote Skin Cancer Prevention

Infograph courtesy of the CDC

Infograph courtesy of the CDC

It’s summer. Are you promoting skin cancer prevention to your employees?

According to the CDC, the rates of melanoma cases are on the rise. According to the CDC, more than 9,000 Americans die of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, each year. An even higher number is the estimated 21,000 melanoma cases that could be prevented each year just by using proven community prevention programs.

Melanoma is linked to exposure to the sun’s UV rays, tanning beds, and sun lamps. Since we are in the heat of summer and there are lots of outdoor activities planned you need to promote prevention to your employees.

Here are some ways you can help your employees be safe in the sun.

  1. Many local dermatologists will go to your workplace and perform skin screenings for your employees. It never hurts to ask.
  2. As an employer, you can promote awareness by posting or emailing flyers educating your employees. The Melanoma Research Foundation has quite a few free educational materials including bookmarks, postcards, inserts and more. You can request the material from them, or you could also download the files, print on your own or post to your intranet.
  3. If you have outdoor employees, make sure they have access to sunscreen and proper attire (like wide brimmed hats, UV protection clothing, and sunglasses).
  4. During fun company sponsored events or functions like picnics or beach weekends, offer sunscreen to employees and make sure shaded spots are available.

Additional free resources are available from the United States Department of Health and the CDC .

Promote awareness and prevent cancer.

Contact our Wellness Coordinator, Trish Blocker at 727-522-7777 to learn more about how W3 helps your employees stay healthy and engaged!

Download Free Wellness Calendar