Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wellness and Fun? Yes!

It’s not an oxymoron. You can make wellness fun and create an environment of wellness at the same time. Organized wellness teams (The LoneStart Team Esteem Challenge) can compete to achieve defined wellness goals, such as pounds lost, steps taken, or BMI reduction.

Proactively managing health (rather than waiting for people to get sick) reduces health costs for all of us and helps employers retain employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70 percent of health costs in this country are preventable. So what if you can continue to provide excellent insurance benefits while reducing your costs through a focus on prevention and wellness. And if you make it fun?

Following are some actual quotes from LoneStart Workplace Wellness and Team Esteem Challenge participants at Peterson Regional Medical Center (this is our blog, so we can really promote ourselves here).

  • “Uplifting for staff at ACC – lots were motivated and made it fun for all. Made me think twice before eating something—better choices all in all.”
  • “I really liked the quotes in the journal. Even though good “lifestyle habits” are very serious subjects, fun laughter and stress reduction make living so much more manageable . . . LoneStart is a good start for PRMC.”

There’s this, also from Peterson Regional Medical Center, and we think it’s pretty significant. After two successful LoneStart Wellness 63-day challenges, PRMC participants lost a total of 921 pounds and 40 participants reduced their average BMI by approximately 2.7 points.

“Admissions for six months of the year were down by 25 percent, with length of stay (LOS) per admission down 3 percent for the same period. Reduced utilization, fewer claims and reduced incident rate can take the credit for the reduction,” says Pat Murray, Hospital Administrator.

And the hospital saw its insurance premiums decrease approximately 9.1 percent.

That’s no laughing matter.

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