wellness digest—week of june 6

June 13, 2011

in wellness digest

a recap of last week’s news that caught my interest.

1. controversial mckinsey health care study creates major dissent at firm

last week mckinsey released startling study results that predicted 30% of employers will drop health care benefits come 2014. other research has predicted the dropping—but not that percentage. researchers and the white house started asking questions, and soon things weren’t looking so good for mckinsey.

“Reached for comment today, a McKinsey spokesperson once again declined to release the survey materials, or to comment beyond saying that, for the moment, McKinsey will let the study speak for itself. However, McKinsey notes that the survey is only one indicator of employers’ potential future actions—that the conclusions remain uncertain and employers’ future decisions will ultimately depend on numerous variables. The three authors of the report were not immediately available for comment.

“Another keyed-in source says McKinsey is unlikely to release the survey materials because ‘it would be damaging to them.’

“Both sources disagree with the results of the survey, which was devised by consultants without particular expertise in this area, not by the firm’s health experts.”

find more.

2. maintain your mental well-being

now that we have guidance for our actual plate, these harvard business review writers want to bring attention to what’s on our metaphysical one.

“The trouble is, we are short on simple, clear information about good mental habits. Few people know about what it takes to have optimum mental health, and the implications of being out of balance. It is not taught in schools, or discussed in business. The issue just isn’t on the table. Businesses schedule time as if the brain had unlimited resources, as if we could focus well all day long. Every week I talk to an organization who says that their biggest problem is simply the overwhelm their people are feeling. Without good information about the mind and brain, we may be stretching ourselves in ways that may have bigger implications than poor eating habits.”

3. standing desks & workplace posture: a first step in employee wellness?

lance haun is not a fan of workplace wellness programs, but he’s become a huge fan of standing desks since he started using one over a year ago because of back pain. in this article he wonders why workplace wellness doesn’t start with work and then move outward. it’s a good question.

“And while I won’t get into wellness programs here, I often wonder why things like this [a standing desk] aren’t thought of as a first step to employee wellness? We all talk about changing lifestyle behaviors and the like, but how about the things we already control (namely the 40 plus hours they spend at work each week)?…

“While it may not be better, or replace a full-fledged wellness program, thinking first of what we can do in the workplace to make it better (especially in the ways employees want to make it better) should be the first (and mandatory) step for any company.”

4. cost of weight-loss programs

i didn’t pick this article because of the content. i picked it because of how the writer organized the content. she breaks things down according to personal preference. it’s a great example of making information useful.

“If you hate cooking (and spending money)

Pick: Nutrisystem (nutrisystem.com)

Price for six months: About $2,380 for women and $2,590 for men on the Select plan (includes some food)

Estimated price per pound lost: $130 to $139

Nutrisystem sends you prepackaged meals that comprise about 60% of what you eat; the rest you buy yourself.”

5. steve case and jerry levin reunite to accelerate health technology

startup health was announced at last week’s NIH health data initiative. its sole purpose is to spur innovation in health and wellness. there’s a continuing and growing focus on health that’ll benefit employers, with new workplace wellness partners likely. but maybe even more important, it’s sure to bring money, smart minds and persistent attention to improving health care in general.

“While the headline is attention-grabbing, the move is more about the larger goal of stimulating health entrepreneurship, something Levin has been learning first hand after joining OrganizedWisdom, a startup which gathers health information from medical professionals. Levin, who will chair StartUp Health, and OrganizedWisdom CEO Steve Krein came up with the idea of building a community of entrepreneurs dedicated to health care after realizing that there weren’t the same type of resources, investors and mentors focused in this field as there are in other sectors. The two got together with Startup America Partnership officials at South by Southwest earlier this year and began putting together a partnership.”




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