a roundup of last week’s news that caught my interest.
people are no longer so shy about sharing. that’s true even when it comes to illness. this article reveals how frequently people turn to social channels to talk about their illness and to seek solace and support. i believe there’s a role here for employers to provide the channels internally or to direct employees to external ones where they may feel more secure.
“Today, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs have increasingly become routine settings for discussions regarding the most personal of concerns” — like health care, according to an analysis titled, Seeking Social Solace: How Patients Use Social Media to Disclose Medical Diagnoses Online from Russell Herder, a Minneapolis-based marketing & PR agency.”
i wrote in may about the need for more caregiver affinity groups at work. this article explains why, citing the deep physical, financial and emotional toll adult caregivers experience. employers with a growing graying workforce should consider how they’ll support their employees’ need for work flexibility, emotional counseling and financial planning.
“The study finds that those who cut back work lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in income over a lifetime. Feinberg says caregivers are also more prone to depression, physical ailments and social isolation.”
i can’t quite wrap my head around the results from this study, especially as tobacco use has fallen and support for tobacco-free public areas has grown. since employers now cover dependents until age 26, they’ll want to include dependents in their education and outreach efforts and ensure they’re eligible for all tobacco-cessation wellness services.
“The perception by teenagers and young adults that heavy cigarette smoking is a high-risk activity has declined in many states, according to a study on substance abuse and mental health released on Thursday.
“The perceived risks of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day dropped between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 in 14 states among youths aged 12 to 17, and in 31 states among those aged 18 to 25.”
shapeup (formerly shape up the nation) is looking to broaden and lengthen their solution with revitalize 2011, and this flu vaccine challenge is one part of that effort.
“ShapeUp’s Fight The Flu challenge is an online employee wellness competition that lets employees form teams and compete to see who can exert the greatest ‘healthy influence’ by encouraging their colleagues to get vaccinated. Teams earn points for every flu shot received by a member of their team, and teams are ranked by highest number and highest percentage of vaccinations completed on their team.”
most articles about the gamification of wellness are all rah! rah! rah! in this blog post we find self-proclaimed naysayer shana sweeney calling wellness games simplistic and boring. (she’s not the sole naysayer. in a june post about the rise in game-based wellness games, i called many efforts too wholesome.) i’ve been testing different wellness games, and after you’ve played for a spell, they can lose their magic. trapper markelz of meyou health writes here that the reason could be their lack of mystery. today, continued appeal lies with the social connections one makes. employers need to emphasize the importance of finding and communicating with online friends to get the most from these health games.
“The wellness related games that I have seen lack the sophistication of games made for adults. They are too easy. You do an activity, you read an article, you call your wellness coach, etc and you get points. Boring! It’s fun for a little while and then the novelty of it wears off.”