Archive for November, 2010

Trainer Tip: Working for health, by Jessica Ray

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

jessica hs

Working for Health

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention projects that in 2010, heart disease will cost the United States $316.4 billion dollars. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity in the work place.  Common risk factors for heart disease include inactivity, obesity, hypertension, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  Individuals have in their capacity the ability to combat these risk factors head on, and furthermore, reduce the economic impact it has on America.

Many work places have implemented wellness programs as part of their employee benefits packages.  However, many employees are unaware of this opportunity to monitor and improve their health at no additional cost.   Businesses are striving to improve their employees’ health, which in turn, will lower medical costs and absences at work related to illness.  In doing this, companies offer employees the chance to take health assessment surveys to learn more about their health.  By compiling health assessment data, businesses can better assess what their employees’ health concerns are and how they can provide assistance and guidance to improve upon them.  In addition, most wellness packages provide the opportunity for their employees to be contacted by a professional health advisor with whom they can directly discuss their health related issues.  This opportunity grants people the chance to ask how they can improve their health, set realistic goals, and hopefully eliminate additional risk factors that may lead to harmful diseases and/or conditions.  Some companies may also offer onsite resources such as health screenings, fitness facilities, and health educational seminars.  This makes it easier for employees to designate time during their work day to focus on their health.

Even though the work place is making it easier for individuals to be healthy, it is important for people to take actions in their own hands.  The expense of gym memberships, diet groups, and healthy foods makes it hard to stay in shape.  Instead of joining a gym think about other ways to exercise.  Find a local church that provides inexpensive fitness classes.  Possibly explore walking trails in your neighborhood, or ask a friend who has knowledge in fitness to help you.  There are many creditable exercise videos that can be purchased at a reasonable cost as well.  Exercise videos are very convenient since you can perform your exercise routine right in your own home.  This helps people overcome the intimidation of a gym atmosphere.
As an exercise specialist, I have discovered the barriers that people face with their health.  As people continue to become more and more unhealthy there will be a significantly greater economic impact.  This is why it’s important to take advantage of all the opportunities that can help improve our community’s wellbeing.