Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't Let the Flu Bug Get You! Practice Prevention

It's officially the "flu season".   Has it started with you?  Having a cold or flu is more than just feeling physically bad; it costs you more than you may think. How much work do you really get done? It's hard to concentrate, your tired, grouchy and sluggish. If you are paid on production then not producing costs money.  Then there's the doctor bills, medications and finally missing work.   Pretty soon everyone at your work and your house is sick, the hubby, kids and even grandma. Sounds expensive to me.

It's hard to predict what having the flu cost's you your family and your company. The University of Maryland has provided us with this calculation ... by providing flu shots
  • You can save about $150 per employee per year in sick leave
  • You can reduce absenteeism by as much as 45%. Employees sick with the flu miss an average of 2.8 days of work per season.
  • You can save on lost production time.
  • You can show employees how important they are by giving them an added benefit at the workplace.
An easy way to get your flu shot is by helping your company provide ONSITE FLU CLINICS to make it easier to get immunized. If flu shots are not in your company's budget this year how about sharing the cost with the employees or ask your employees to pay and provide the convenience on getting them at work.  This sounds like a sound investment, flu shots are only $30 per employee with a big return.

However, this is just one aspect of flu prevention. The Preventive Health Advisory Board (PHAB) recommended the following:

REMEMBER THE BASICS of flu prevention and practice these habits throughout the day.
Wash your hands often, keep antibiotic soap near your work station.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
Get a flu shot.  The recommended time is between August through December for prevention of the flu in the winter months.

STEP IT UP by incorporating positive healthy changes into your diet, exercise routine and sleep patterns.
Diet - Eat the recommend 9 - 13 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup) of fruits and vegetables each day. If you are not sure how much that is go to USDA on their new website shows you how it looks on your plate.
Exercise - American Council on Fitness (ACE) reported studies suggest that physically active individuals report fewer colds than those who do not exercise regularly. 
Sleep - The National Sleep Foundation recommends you get 8 hours of sleep each day. If you are unable to sleep all 8 at once, take short naps during the day.

BECOME PREVENTION ADVOCATE by encouraging others to adopt these same practices. Practice what you preach. Be a model of wellness and the example of the benefits of staying healthy. Teach your family the steps to take to stay well, along with providing the time and tools to do so.  Encourage the place where work to provide antibiotic soap, flu shots and to stay home when you are sick.

SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED with your family, friends and co-workers. Prevention starts with education. Post signs, send out newsletter, talk about wellness where you work reminding your employees to STEP IT UP and prevent the spread of flu this season where you work.  
You'll be glad you did.

Your partner in health,

Health Consultant
C2 Your Health LLC

Small Business Tips: Increasing Your Financial Literacy

How is your company]s financial wellness? What is it anyways?  For employers,  financial wellness  is a program or set of programs desi...