wellness digest—week of september 6

September 12, 2011

in wellness digest

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

1. mayo clinic study suggests one simple question regarding stress could help employers tailor wellness programs and improve participation

what else can i add? i think they squeezed everything into that title. read the article for the study results and for details on the related september 20 free webinar mayo’s offering.

“‘Wellness programs and centers typically initially focus on physical fitness and weight loss,’ Dr. Clark says. ‘Perhaps by addressing other domains of wellness—stress management, work-life balance, spirituality and resilience—employees might gain the confidence and skills to truly achieve better overall wellness.’”

2. the price we pay for medical care 

three studies are reviewed in this new york times prescriptions blog post. each points out the toll rising health care costs are taking on lower-income people, in particular, but each of us overall.

“Americans seem to be paying the price for the unrelenting rise in health care costs in this country, according to several studies being published on Thursday in Health Affairs, an academic journal.

“The higher cost of coverage has taken a huge cut in the increase in income earned by the average family, says one study, and lower-income families are particularly hard hit, according to another. Meanwhile, the numbers of people who cannot afford insurance or do not have enough coverage have significantly increased, according to a third study.”

3. employers say they will shift more health costs to workers

the national business group on health released findings about how much of the cost employers intend to shift onto employees in the coming year—and how.

“Of the 83 company executives surveyed by the NBGH, 77 responded to a question about ‘the most effective way to control health care costs.’ Of those respondents, 25% said ‘increased employee cost-sharing’ is the best way to control costs. Executives estimated that those costs would go up 7.2% in 2012, slightly less than their estimated 7.4% 2011 increase. Half of the respondents ranked an increase in employee cost-sharing in their top three tactics.”

4. virginia court rejects two challenges to obama’s healthcare law

it ain’t over…if we can postpone it. and make it part of the 2012 presidential election.

“Reporting from Washington—A federal appeals court in Virginia rejected two challenges to President Obama’s healthcare law, saying the legal dispute over whether the government can require Americans to buy medical insurance should be put off for three years until the first taxpayers are hit with a penalty.

“The decision injects a new element into a brewing election-year court showdown over Obama’s signature accomplishment. Though the Supreme Court is poised to take up the issue early next year, the Virginia-based court decided that federal law forbids judges from ruling on tax challenges until a tax penalty has been levied.”

5. a workout at work?

check out this article for their 12 easy-to-do-anywhere exercises, considerately rated for their sweat and humiliation factor.

note: i’m fired up about a health app i’m developing for employers to offer their employees. called “hot seat,” it’ll help employees effortlessly fit exercises like these into their day and serve as nudge, support and social instigator.

“The Post’s infographics department tested 12 exercises for a week to see which ones real people could incorporate into a workday. These moves were recommended by experts whose jobs involve studying motion, preventing obesity and generally getting people off their duffs.”

ready to raise the roof?



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