Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Worksite Wellness: Guys All Aboard

Let’s face it. We all think it. Men are just not interested in their health. It’s not “manly”.  Really? This stereotypical view of men is they are not interested in improving their health is on its way out. More and more men are interested in what they can do to develop a healthy lifestyle.   However there is a great divide between wanting to do something and actually putting it into practice.  Wanting a healthier life will not make it happen.  This is true at home and at work. 

So what’s the hold up? Men have a different sense about the world than women for this reason it's important to note the barriers to engaging in healthy practices are different for men than women when developing wellness programing especially if there are more men than women where you work. 

One of the most commonly asked questions people ask when they start a wellness program at a worksite that is predominately men is usually 'how do you get men to come along?'

To start it's important to identify what those barriers are at your workplace when deciding on wellness programing.  In the article Big Lottery Fund: Engaging Men in Your Project: A Good Practice Guide the author states the most common barriers noted are men are less inclined to seek out help, have a fear of disapproval such as being seen as not "manly" and in some situations feel "unwelcomed".

For worksites that are predominately men then programing needs to overcome these barriers to increase work-site wellness engagement and participation.  When considering programing consider interacting with men through peer networks and influencing partnerships in connection to activities men enjoy such as sporting events, festivals, family fun days, and community events. It is also important to include influential partners and family members to influence men's health wellness decisions and to get medical problems checked out. Include family members in the educational programing, health screening information, and nurse answer hotlines to support them. Here are some other ideas... 

  1. Team challenges are becoming more popular in the work place. It is a call to engage in a contest or competition with a health wellness focus. Teams compete against each other for prizes or rewards.
  2. Sport is increasingly being recognized as an effective way to engage men and boys in practices that can enhance their health and wellbeing. Partner with local sports team, youth team or create sports teams.
  3. Social connections such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to increase engagement by raising awareness for employees and their families. 
  4. Movember is a men's health movement connected to an event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers, and associated charities. You can join this movement or make your own. 
  5. Celebrate Men’s Health Week the seconded week in June to engage men in healthy activities, develop an appropriate understanding of what factors are affecting their health, services that  encourage the use of the local resources.   
In an article How to Get Men to Participate in Worksite Wellness Programs written by Lisa Stoval the recommendation is to "... piggyback your wellness efforts on this popular health campaign and bring attention to men's health issues at your worksite. Like most wellness efforts, you have a better chance of reaching men if you develop a program that is specifically targeted to them." 

Engaging men in healthy behaviors at work has many benefits; most importantly it just makes sense. 

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Employers, Healthcare and the Bottom-Line

Thank you to Gloria Guy our guest blogger this month.

As an employer your healthcare costs are escalating and will continue to do so. Your choices, your budget and your time are limited; and as a consumer, you have concerns about quality, safety, compliance and efficiency. To address increasing costs and the drivers that fuel them, you must create and implement effective health and productivity programs. By doing so, you can improve your employee’s health and lower employee related expenses such as workers’ compensation, disability, absenteeism, and healthcare costs. Being proactive and empowering employees to be responsible for their own healthcare is one of the most essential strategies to controlling your bottom-line.
It works!

Employers, Healthcare and the Bottom-Line By Gloria Guy, MMA was submitted for publication in Prevention Benefits Healthy Employees Cost Less published in 2013 now on Amazon.com click here

Gloria Guy, BBM
Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Gloria Guy is the Vice President of the Business Services Division at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and has served as Executive Director of the Chamber’s Statewide Drug-Free Illinois Workplace Program (DFIWP) that was funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.  This was a highly successful, nationally recognized program whose mission was to promote awareness of substance abuse including prescription drug abuse and healthy lifestyles that translate in to improving an employer’s bottom line.  Guy graduated from the Institute for Organization Management at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Georgia, Athens and Colorado College, Colorado Springs, graduating from the U.S. Chamber Institute Program. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Springfield. You may contact Gloria through www.ilchamber.org and gguy@ilchamber.org               

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Wellness Puzzle

Everyone agrees we as a nation needs to get healthier and if we don't it's going to cost us big time. After all that's the argument for the national Health Care Reform regulations whether you agree with them or not.

It's not just "our nation", it's a lot closer to home.  The big corporations, medium size businesses, and mom and pop shops are going to pay the price if they don't do something to impact employee health and quick. The work force is getting older, young people are getting sicker and company's are paying these big bills in rising insurance premiums, too many employees not working because of illness, and when they are at work they are so "stressed" they can hardly put in a full day of work. Some company's have even reported they spend more money on health care than any other expense in their company and it's driving them out of business.

The question is how to even get started and who should do it? Designing a work place wellness employee program seems complicated at best and exhausting at worst. The new Health Care Reform regulations are very specific on what is an acceptable wellness program to qualify for the premium discounts. Since most wellness programs do not quality, it's going to be a little tricky so you are going to need the help of a consultant to make sure your company is on the right track.

A consultant can help you design a program that fits into your company's mission and values along with your company's unique culture to insure your employees gain a healthier lifestyle at work and at home. A consultant will help you put the pieces of wellness together so they fit perfectly together to help your employees get healthier and your bottom line.

Your partner in health,

Wellness Consutant
Health Coach
C2 Your Health LLC

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Special Thanks to the Michiana BetterU Makeover Challenge

Since the inception of the Michiana BetterU Makeover Challenge, C2 Your Health LLC has had the privilege to administer and coordinate the BetterU program, including facilitating the health coaching sessions over the 12 week challenge. C2 Your Health LLC is a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Michiana BetterU Makeover Challenge. 

Each year for the last 4 years 12 women from different backgrounds, walks of life and companies take on the BetterU Challenge demonstrating you can improve your health status in just 12 weeks. It's remarkable how big of a difference you can make in your health and the health of your family in such a short period of time. 

A special thanks to the women who participated in the 2013 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Michiana BetterU Makeover 12 Week Challenge for their willingness to share their fears, aspirations and hope to achieve a healthier life. We also salute them for being an inspiration to all of us who are striving to experience a disease free, long and vital life. 
Here is this weeks installment on the Michiana BetterU Blog.

Challenge Yourself to be a Better You Too

The BetterU Challenge is for all of us. The BetterU Challenge provides the average person with information, education, guidance and support. By making a series of small changes over time you will make a big difference in our health and wellness by reducing their risks of cardiovascular disease over your lifetime. Reducing heart risks such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and weight not only improve quality of life; it saves money on doctor bills, medications, hospital admissions and sick days. Isn't that what we all want?
To read the rest of the article go to the Michiana BetterU Blog ...
Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Wellness Consultant, Health Coach

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