Five tips to keep your workforce healthy and productive throughout the flu season.Read More
The the EEOC’s ADA regulations permit an employer wellness program that is open only to employees who are enrolled in a particular plan to offer a financial incentive, provided it did not exceed 30% of the total cost for self-only coverage of the plan in which the employee is enrolled. In the fall of 2016, the AARP brought suit on behalf of its members, arguing that the regulations are inconsistent with Congress’s statutory requirement that employers’ wellness programs be “voluntary.”Read More
Following a meeting in Geneva this week, the World Health Organization's (WHO's) flu vaccine advisory group today recommended changing two of the four components for quadrivalent vaccines to be produced for the Northern Hemisphere 2018-19 flu season.Read More
The 2017 survey found 56% of employers say their programs incite a healthier lifestyle among participants, but only 32% of employees concurred. “High-performing companies are already revamping their approaches..."Read More
When people can spend an average of 13 hours a week at work worrying about money, good financial health is essential to both workers’ well-being and their ability to cope with the unexpected.Read More
Employers currently using wellness programs are likely already aware of the privacy and discrimination laws and regulations restricting their use. However, as they work to design and implement programs for 2018, employers with existing programs and those thinking about starting one for the first time need to be aware that these regulations should be changing in the not-too-distant future.Read More
No matter what you call it—well-child check, women’s wellness exam or annual physical—it’s almost universally understood that we’re supposed to go see our doctors every year, even when we’re not sick. While annual checkups are the recommendation, we wanted to dig a little deeper...Read More
In the past several years, the growing use of activity wearables has proven to promote a healthier work environment, and thus a more productive workplace. However, “Early research supports that a device, on its own, will not change health behaviors over the long term.”Read More
In November of 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) presented new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension.
The new diagnosis of hypertension, or high blood pressure, is now established at lower numbers. As a result of these new guidelines, 46% of the adult US population will have “high blood pressure.” The number of young men under age 45 with a diagnosis of high blood pressure will triple, and will double for young women.
The new guidelines state that normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Stage 1 hypertension is systolic 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89. The previous consensus guidelines defined Stage 1 as systolic 140-149 or diastolic 90-99.
On December 12, 2017, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), my parent organization, decided against endorsing the AHA/ACC hypertension guidelines. They decided to stay with JNC-8, the “2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults.”
What should we do in the corporate wellness community? On the front lines of health promotion, we are very aware of the epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles. Obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and smoking are contributing to high levels of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. It is not a shock that half of adults will be labeled as having high blood pressure with these new guidelines.
After careful consideration, Provant has elected to endorse and embrace the new ACC/AHA guidelines.
We feel strongly that addressing elevated blood pressures with lifestyle advice, and engaging with more individuals at an earlier stage, is beneficial to the health of individuals and society. We are advising positive lifestyle changes: increasing activity, healthy eating, decreasing stress. This is good not just for cardiovascular health, but for all other aspects of well-being, including emotional health. There is nothing controversial about advising on healthy habits earlier in life.
The greatest controversy in the new guidelines is the lack of attention to the negative side of aggressive treatment with medications to a lower blood pressure farther than previously. The potential side effects of the medications and the effect of blood pressure that is too low are real. However, we avoid that controversy by not being involved in the pharmaceutical aspect of treatment for high blood pressure.
Positive interaction with patients and employees regarding healthy living is beneficial to overall health. The new blood pressure guideline increases the opportunities and challenges for cardiovascular health promotion. Lower blood pressure numbers, obtained through positive lifestyle changes, will improve individual health and wellness.
David Ashley, MD
Chief Medical Officer
As early and severe seasonal flu outbreaks are reported in Massachusetts and beyond, reports from the southern hemisphere suggest preliminary efficacy as low as 10% for this year’s flu vaccine.Read More
This holiday season, make some easy tweaks to your favorite holiday recipes to reduce the calories but keep the taste! Our Registered Dietitian health coaches have compiled tips, tricks, and a delicious "cookie dough" recipe to make your holiday happier and healthier than ever.Read More
When we’re preoccupied with juggling work, family and personal lives, sleep is often one of the first things that’s neglected. As those commitments increase and our free time seems to wane all too quickly, few of us remember to prioritize getting more zzz’s. Yet it’s a very important aspect of our overall health, including the achievement of our weight goals.Read More
Holidays are happy times for most people, but at least a third or workers are stressed out, according to staffing firm Accountemps. In its recent survey of employees, the firm found that 51% said they were happier at work during the season, but 35% said they were more stressed at this time of year.Read More
Employers today are better at recognising the value of prioritising the health and well-being of their employees. Decreased long-term costs, increased productivity and improved employee satisfaction are just some of the benefits that come with a healthy workforce.Read More
You may want to consider that if employees are well taken care of, they are more productive, less stressed, and happier workers. Investing in your employees’ well-being will not only result in a high retention rate for your company, but it will also provide a big ROI. Let’s take a look at the facts.Read More