Some people have little to do with the creation of self-help goals that directly affect the way they live. Complying with these goals will seem almost mandatory to some, especially if they want to reap the full health benefits offered under their health care insurance plans. Some of the health goals set by insurance companies are designed to encourage people to live healthier and happier lives, but medical problems might keep some people from reaching the goals that have been set. Participating in the self-goals set by insurance companies for better health, wellness is purely voluntary, and the insurance companies hope that these self-help goals will produce lifestyle changes that will ultimately reduce the number of medical claims submitted to cover long-term, in-patient hospital care. While these health goals are a minute part of the health care plans that apply to those covered under Government insurance rate plans, the overall cost of insurance for everyone is affected by the success of the self-help goals. Most insurance companies will create self-help goals, which are set for improving the health and wellness of millions of people around the world. The insurance plans will render better benefits to hundreds of aged people that live around the world who are living longer lives because of the lifestyle changes they made when they were younger. With subtle lifestyle changes, a large population can make a significant change to the cost of healthcare benefits simply because the need for benefits will lessen. Some longevity increases will be realized because older people will utilize management tools that will help tailor their lives to a style of living that is based on a healthy diet and responsible health choices. As each goal for self-help is reached, the overall health benefits rendered from completing the simple tasks associated with the self-help goals can often be seen with the naked eye. A person’s appearance will not only change, but the way they walk and talk will be noticeably different too. Some people change their lifestyle by changing the types of food they eat throughout the week. A diet that is full of nutritious foods will show its heath benefits when an overweight person begins to lose weight and inches of body fat. The self-help goals might have been set to reach a desirable body weight but other benefits will come from that effort. Not only does a person lose weight that could be taxing on their heart, they also reap the benefits of gaining confidence in their own abilities. Health care insurance companies have included health club memberships in the health care packages at many corporations. These are health care benefits that can return control to people who have mismanaged their health through excessive fats and carbohydrates. Since insurance covers the use of these facilities, many individuals are making a concerted effort to change the way they eat and the number of times they exercise each week. The person might use self-help reference materials to learn about the number of calories that items on the weekly menu contain. The self-help guide might have recommended that a person create a monthly meal planner. By taking an active part in the self-help goals created by insurance companies, people begin to feel better about who they are and are not as depressed as they used to be. The self-help goals for health and wellness will make subtle suggestions for improving a person’s image.
With the current economic troubles and with rising costs in health care, more and more people are foregoing doctor’s visits or needed prescriptions, therefore setting companies up for monetary losses in the future as their employees’ serious conditions go untreated. There are, however, many things an employer can do to foster health and wellness in the workplace. Encourage Healthy Eating Even small changes can add up. One morning per week, provide employees free, fresh fruits for a heart healthy, quick breakfast. Make sure the company cafeteria also offers plenty of healthy foods, such as salads, fruit, baked chicken or fish, whole grain breads, vegetarian meals, and unsweetened, decaffeinated drinks. In the vending machines, replace candy and chips with dried fruit, nuts, and granola bars. At employee meetings, provide yogurt and fresh fruit, instead of the standard fare of cookies and sodas. Promote Ways to Reduce Stress The workplace can be stressful, especially with today’s looming layoffs, budget cuts, and increased demands for overtime due to staff cuts. If left untreated, stress can lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, trouble concentrating, stomach problems, or increased use of alcohol or drugs, all of which are detrimental to the employees’ performance. To offset these stresses, offer strategies or tools for relaxation. Invite a yoga expert to lead a 15-minute meditation and relaxation exercise during the day, or bring in a masseuse to give 15-minute neck and shoulder massages. Management should also communicate the best they can to reduce uncertainties about employees’ jobs and futures. Also, avoid unrealistic deadlines and make sure the workload is suitable to the employees’ abilities. Most importantly, show your employees that they are valued members of the team. Encourage Physical Activity Promote exercise by allowing employees who walk or bike to work to arrive five minutes late or leave five minutes early. If space and costs allow, install an employee gym and showers so that workers can exercise during breaks and lunch hours, which not only increases physical health and mental acuity, but can also decrease stress. Are your employees competitive? Sponsor a weight-loss competition or walking challenge with pedometers to determine who walks the most steps in a week. Start a company volleyball or softball team for weekend games, or install a ping pong table in the cafeteria. Hold employees to a health standard by having them sign a fitness contract. Sponsor a Health Fair with Preventive Screening Organize an on-site health fair, bringing in representatives from fitness centers and health food stores to talk to employees about health related issues. Some fitness centers may even offer discounts when several employees join at the same time. At the health fair, hold a raffle, with the winner receiving a bike or gym membership. Invite a company who offers mobile health screenings to spend the day at your workplace. As their schedule allows, employees can find out if they are at risk for heart disease or stroke and receive valuable information they can provide to their physician if there is a problem. Administered by trained professionals, the tests these companies offer are quick, non-invasive, and painless, and can save lives, since many of the symptoms of heart disease can go unnoticed.