During a recent presentation at the 2008 Texas Workers' Comp Forum in
Seifert adds that research shows 34 percent of the workforce is obese and that obesity is associated with a 36 percent increase in spending on health care services — more than smoking or problem drinking. "Lifestyle choices contribute to chronic illness — and ultimately higher health insurance costs," says Seifert. "The heaviest employees file twice as many workers' comp claims than do normal weight employees, and their medical costs are seven times higher."
Today chronic illness accounts for two-thirds of a company's health care expenditure, yet 80 percent of all chronic disease is the result of three preventable health behaviors — physical inactivity, poor nutrition and overeating, and smoking. By creating and promoting a new culture of wellness, an organization's reference point shifts and employees (and their families) are challenged to make positive but realistic improvements in their daily lifestyle behaviors.
By promoting what it calls "Viral Wellness," Seifert says LoneStart is proving that wellness, like illness, can be contagious. "We use the term "Viral Wellness" to describe what happens when an organization's new culture of wellness spreads not only within the organization, but to families, friends and even into the community. The results are impressive — healthier employees and their families, lower health care costs, reduced absenteeism and improved morale and productivity. These results confirm that wellness is a stabilizing investment, one whose time is now."
The LoneStart Workplace Wellness Initiative is based on the premise that each of us must take personal responsibility to make better nutritional choices and become more physically active. The behavior-based strategy provides employee participants with the opportunity and tools to make modest yet meaningful lifestyle changes that lead to long term, sustainable results, for themselves and their organizations. Visit the LoneStart Web site at http://www.lonestartnow.com
SOURCE LoneStart Wellness