The Benefits of a Corporate Health and Wellness Program

The concept of hiring a Vancouver personal training professional to aid in improving the fitness of company employees may not seem like an appropriate expenditure for many in management. Such an opinion is a fairly misguided one because it overlooks several important points. Among the most vital of points is that the expenditure is really not an expenditure. The reason this is so derives from the fact that the institution of a solid wellness program can actually prove to be a tremendous cost saver for a company in a multitude of ways. On the most basic of levels, a proper wellness and fitness program can yield tremendous improvements in employee performance and productivity. The obvious cost saving impact of such improvements really goes without saying.

What is a wellness program?

As the name implies, a wellness program (In conjunction with Vancouver personal training )can entail any process or program in the office that boosts the health potential of employees. Sadly, the term “wellness program” has become associated with drug testing in the work environment. This is certainly not the only type of wellness program a company can employ. The fact of the matter is that there are no limits to the scope of improving employee wellness. The reason for this should be obvious: there are no limits on the ways in which health can be improved. This creates a great deal of latitude for companies seeking to effectively and properly institute such a program.

A wellness program in a corporate setting can take on many forms. Smaller scale wellness programs such as individual Vancouver personal training could entail simply holding a lunch and learn that covers the subject of reducing health risks deriving from obesity. A more expansive wellness program could include an actual onsite program designed to reduce obesity. Generally, there will be different wellness programs a company can employ based on needs and budget. Some of the commonly employed wellness programs will include:

Onsite aerobics, cardiovascular conditioning, and weight training programs are commonly employed for a wellness initiative. Vancouver personal training professionals could easily craft such programs. Obviously, space would be needed in the office to set up a fitness room to handle such workout sessions. This may not prove to be much of a problem with effective design. Even a very small room can be turned into a “fitness center” with the right approach.

Yoga, stretching, and meditation classes could be performed onsite as well. Such light workouts are perfect for stress reduction and can be instituted with limited cost.

Discount membership affiliations to local Vancouver personal training fitness facilities would be perfect for those companies unable to offer onsite wellness programs. Many commercial facilities will have programs in place to accept discount memberships for other businesses in the local community. Taking advantage of the availability of such offers could prove incredibly helpful to a company seeking to boost employee health and productivity.

Offering basic medical screening could prove to be extremely appreciated by employees. A blood screening test offered once a year to detect diabetes, hepatitis, or other health ailments could help improve the quality of employees’ lives dramatically.

Weight management and nutrition educational programs, workshops, and seminars can all prove helpful. Some might solely associate weight loss programs with improving physical appearance but these benefits are actually minor. The true benefits derive from effective weight benefits would be the reduced potential for serious adverse health problems manifesting due to obesity.

Positive Case Studies

While all these programs may seem helpful on the surface, some may seriously question whether or not these programs are truly effective and successful. Case studies have long since proven that the institution of such wellness programs can deliver all manner of benefits to a company that institutes such Vancouver personal training wellness programs.

A study performed by the Wellness Council of America has established that even minor healthy lifestyle changes significantly boost employee performance. This case study examined what was performed in 1992 in the City of Gainesville. A program dubbed LifeQuest was promoted to educate workers on seemingly “minor” health improvements and the results were quite positive. People that received effective health and wellness education soon started making proper decisions regarding their health. This led to great improvements in professional duties.

The Commonwealth Fund performed a study of a wellness program instituted by General Motors to curtail rising healthcare costs. In association with the United Auto Workers Union, a program called LifeStep was instituted. The study performed by The Commonwealth Fund noted there was a substantial savings of $42 per employee per year. This may not seem like a lot on the surface, but this will add up to $42,000 per 1,000 employees. General Motors is an enormous company and home to a substantial workforce. The multiplication of these costs over a large workforce has certainly cut healthcare costs for the company in a noticeable way.

Established Statistics

For any company to seriously consider instituting such a program there will be requirements to examine established statistic surrounding improvements attained for a company after a wellness program has been put in place. For this interested in finding such established statistics can take solace in the fact that many companies report positive outcomes.

Per the resource site PreventDisease.com, it has been noted that Johnson and Johnson experienced a 15% reduction in absences and a 34% reduction in healthcare costs. DuPont experiences a significant reduction in operational costs. For every dollar spent, $1.42 was saved. Coors Beer experienced savings in excess of $2 million.

Per Larry Chapman’s study, “Meta-evaluation of Worksite Health Promotion Economic Return Studies,” which was published in The American Journal of Health Promotion in 2003, the following statistics were revealed:

28% of sick leave taken was reduced; 26% reductions in direct health care costs were attained; and 30% reductions in the costs of worker’s compensation and disability were attained.

Such amazing savings are certainly eye-opening and should be noted by those companies weighing the options for instituting Vancouver personal training wellness programs. The bottom line here is that such programs are, essentially, self-funded thanks to the savings they provide.

If your looking for an amazing fitness community to join then look no further. With Values like Passion, Inspiration, Community and Fun we exist to help you live a happier healthier life. Whether it’s Personal Training with one of our Certified Personal Trainers or at West Coast Fitness Camp, we keep downtown Vancouver fit and feeling healthy!

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Corporate Health and Wellness Program Help – Free Resources and Information

Whether you are a Human Resources HR Manager for a large company, Non-Profit organization, a small business owner or somewhere in between, there are many so many benefits to both the employer and the employee for providing health and wellness education. Promoting a total-health culture that improves employee health, job performance and morale.

Studies show that unscheduled absences can cost employers $3,600 a year per hourly employee. Plus, when employees are at work but not fully productive due to chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can potentially cost employers another two or three dollars for every dollar they spend on direct medical costs.

Bottom line, having healthier employees can produce higher Productivity, less sick leave, increased morale and Positive Attitudes.

There are many ways to create an effective work force health program, but the most successful programs share several important elements including leadership first. A program has a much better chance of success if your company’s owner or CEO is onboard and leading by example.

To maximize participation, you can involve employees in designing your program. You could conduct a short survey to find out your employees’ interests. They’ll tell you what’s important to them.

You may also want to set-up a program that works on many levels. For example, your program should support individual employees in achieving their personal goals. A weight loss challenge supported by training, material and resources to support their efforts and increase personal successes. Your company policies should encourage physical activity in the workplace for example; provide healthy food choices in your cafeteria and vending machines.

Your program doesn’t need to be expensive. Another example can be a walking program. It is cheap and easy to do, and it can do wonders for employee camaraderie and teamwork. Just remember to offer something for every fitness level. Something for employees who are fit and healthy and want to stay that way, to those who want to change their lifestyle.

Communication and motivation are also critical. If you want your employees to participate, you need to get the word out, consider increasing visibility by creating a name and a logo for the program, and you can celebrate successes with your employees in a variety of ways, including e-mails and newsletters.

Finally, make sure you understand what you want your program to accomplish, and then set appropriate goals, such as the number of participants or behavior improvements. It may take time to start your work force health program, but it’s an investment that will pay dividends.

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Health And Fitness Paradigms – Who Do You Believe?

I have always had an interest in trying to understand how the human body works and how to train optimally with the minimum amount of time and effort being spent. Much of my spare time is spent attending numerous conferences and workshops, doing online courses, and reading every book I can get my hands on related to research, and educated peoples opinions on what they consider affects human physiology. However, whenever I do read books or attend seminars I never take for granted that what the author/presenter is saying is in fact correct – very few guidelines in the health and fitness realm are scientifically proven facts – they are, for the most part, educated guesses with many of them being proven wrong or misleading over time. The “diet” industry is a prime example of this, as is the never-ending succession of fitness fads that come and go. It’s true to say that “best practices” – as defined by the tried and true ways of doing things – often become conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is often wrong.

Many studies that at face value seem to have undeniable results that agree with the intended hypothesis, in reality have not considered many other variables that can be involved in a “cause and effect” scenario. Neuroscience experts are now finding that there is more and more evidence to suggest that it is more likely that humans are actually “causing an effect”.

Studies on the placebo effect – whereby our mind can cause an effect on our body purely by thinking that something is going to have a certain effect on us – have shown that this phenomenon absolutely exists. This fact opens up wide-ranging implications on how we have the ability to control what our body does just by “believing” that it can do whatever we focus our attention on. But there’s an important clarification to make here – I didn’t say that we just have to “THINK” about what we want our body to do but rather “BELIEVE” that it can do it. Thinking about it, or wanting it to happen, is totally different to actually believing it can happen.

I recently attended a fitness industry conference and one of the presenters was a very well respected dietitian and health industry educator, who I greatly admired for his excellent presenter skills and in-depth knowledge on nutrition. I particularly wanted to see his presentation on ‘The Paleolithic (or commonly referred to as The Paleo) Diet’” and hear what he had to say about it. While I had never actually read any specific books on The Paleo Diet I was aware that it was loosely referred to as the “Caveman Diet” because it preached following a diet of all natural foods with no processed, or chemically or genetically modified foods, which I strongly agree with and it’s basically the foundation principles of my lifelong eating regime.

If I can just diverge for a moment here – by “eating regime” I mean what commonly used to be regarded as “diet”, in the proper sense of the word, but in the 20th Century the word “diet” developed the connotation of being a restrictive eating plan that you had to follow rigidly.

Wikipedia gives the meaning of the word “diet” as being the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group, and “dieting” as being the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake and “diet food” as being foods that aid in dieting, but despite this text book nomenclature, the word “diet” these days is virtually only recognized as referring to a food restriction plan and this is why I never use the word in conversation about my own eating habits.

Now, to get back to the Paleo Diet seminar… I arrived late to the event so missed the start of the presentation but as I walked into the room I was surprised to hear one of the conference delegates (all of whom were Personal Trainers) ask the question of the presenter about should we be eating apples because they wouldn’t have been around in Caveman days? I was quite surprised and thought it was a pretty stupid question because surely the Caveman Diet was just figuratively speaking and didn’t literally mean what the caveman ate but that we should follow their lead in eating only fresh and natural foods. Well, as if the question didn’t surprise me enough the answer totally floored me! The presenter went on to explain that although there may not have been apples in the Caveman times they would still be OK to eat. He continued to explain in detail what exactly the caveman would have had access to and that’s what we should also be trying to eat. And then he made the comment that had me wondering why we should ever NOT doubt anything we hear “experts” say when he added that “of course, the Cavemen had an average lifespan of only 30 years”… what??? Why on Earth then are we being told we should eat like the Caveman when he only lived to be 30 years old???

Now no one is saying that it was their diet that prevented them from living past 30 years of age but even so, how can we draw any conclusions on the success of their diet when we have absolutely no evidence of the benefits of their diet on their health?

The even-more horrifying part was that all the Personal Trainers in the room were nodding in agreement and writing down notes as if they accepted every word he was saying because, being the expert that he was, he should know! Was I the only person in the room – or in the world! – who recognizes that (as I mentioned a little earlier) “conventional wisdom is often wrong”?Am I the only Personal Trainer who goes to seminars and questions the validity of things I am being lectured about with a healthy dose of skepticism until I can prove it to be true?

Personal Trainers, as like all professional people, attend conferences and seminars to further their knowledge in their given field of expertise and they then use this newly acquired knowledge to pass onto the people who rely on them (and pay them!) for guidance and instruction in that particular field of expertise. My biggest problem with this is that if conventional wisdom is often wrong then who are the masses to believe if their teachers are accepting, without question, what they are themselves being taught?

I recently came across an article written by a world renowned heart surgeon with 25 years experience and having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries who admitted that he had trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, these opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course they insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease.

But he now concedes that this is not working. These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall, and not blood cholesterol levels, is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

Now, if world-renowned heart surgeons can get it wrong what hope have the rest of us got in knowing whose advice to follow?

I also have a personal favorite anecdote from my time working in the fitness industry when the gym I was working at had a weight control program that people could pay to do. This was in the late 1990′s when the idea of fats being bad for you was beginning to take acceptance. I remember the woman who led the group stating that it was perfectly OK to eat Macca’s Hotcakes so long as you didn’t have the whipped butter with it. The highly processed pancakes and maple syrup were perfectly fine to consume so long as you didn’t go over your calorie allowance for the day. It was the “conventional wisdom” of the day that only fat was bad for you and that sugars and highly processed foods were totally harmless.

This is the age old dilemma that mankind has faced in relation to health and fitness education. With so much of the advice we are given, it is impossible to know if it is accurate or just another misguided fad that society will eventually supersede with something better, cheaper, easier or just more interesting and harder to dis-prove “conventional wisdom”.

Unfortunately, for the average man on the street, there is no easy solution to this age-old problem. My solution to the problem has been to spend my entire adult life researching the subjects that I feel passionate about and that is: “how my body functions and what can I do to optimize its performance”. Because most people don’t have the time or inclination to devote their life to this cause they rely on the “experts” to give them guidance but unfortunately we have seen that this method seems to provide only hit and miss solutions. For too long people have been misled to believe that they have no control over what their inherited genes can do.

We need to learn more about our body and how the human race has got itself into the predicament it has – how we got to the point where BILLIONS of people world-wide are not just overweight but obese, and over 40 million children under the age of five are overweight. And despite the recognition of the problem, the world continues to put on weight and governments continue to ignore the real causes, which are:

· Ever-increasing numbers of fast-food outlets supplying the population with nutrition deficient junk food.

· The most notorious outlets providing bigger and bigger portion sizes – “upsizing”.

· Supermarket aisles full of absolutely unnecessary and highly addictive bad food choices, i.e. soft drinks/sodas, potato crisps, biscuits, candy, highly processed packaged food, etc. Three quarters of the aisles at supermarkets are totally unnecessary to the survival of man and do nothing but tempt people who either don’t know any better or choose to ignore the health warnings.

· School canteens providing all the above ‘food’ items to school children – what child will have a drink of water if they can get a can of Coke?

· Major sporting events world wide being sponsored by junk food/drink companies.

I’m sure you can start to see the underlying problem now – the GDP of the modern world relies on the profit from these products. Do you think the Olympics would ever be sponsored by a fresh food co-op or the Australian beef industry? Not a chance! The “REAL FOOD” suppliers don’t make anywhere near the profits that the junk food/drink industry make. What a deadly vicious cycle we have created – all the world’s major sporting events are sponsored by the world’s worst influences on mankind. It wasn’t that long ago that the sporting worlds biggest sponsors were the tobacco companies – I think we’ve gone from bad to equally as bad, or even worse!

The problem has gone way beyond any chances of government policies being able to make a difference. Money, power and corruption are now – as they always have been – what rule many of the worlds government policies, not only in the developed world but even more so in the undeveloped nations. There’s a reason why there are so many anti-corruption agencies around the world! Governments just can’t ignore the trillions of dollars that these lifestyle products supply to the economy of the world today.

The reality is that the health of you and your family rests squarely on your shoulders – don’t be naïve enough to think that the government would – or should – control what goes into your mouth. We can only blame the governments for letting these products be supplied – not of making us buy them! Only YOU can make the choice of either buying healthy or unhealthy food – there’s no one to blame but yourself for your lack of willpower. Just because these items are available doesn’t mean you have to buy them. People are kidding themselves if they think that anything but wholesome food is a necessary item in the supermarket trolley.

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Choosing the Right Websites for Health and Medical Information

Use of internet has increased rapidly over the last few years. This has affected people in many ways, both good and bad. And medical and health fields are no exception. In fact, more people search for health and medical information than any other subjects. This just indicates that people take their health seriously and are ever searching for information to improve their health and well-being. But for many of us, even logging into an internet site is often daunting. We get lost with the volumes of information, advertisements, and promotions which are all eye-catching and very difficult to resist. This may lure readers to sites which are neither useful nor serve any purpose. Besides, the information may be loaded with medical jargons, terminologies, and other medical ideas which are hard to understand as a non-medical person.

So, how do we get the right information? And how do we know which one is right when there are piles and layers of information to choose from? To make the matter worse, the information are often contradicting or even misleading.

In this article, I will briefly highlight some important points that can help readers in choosing the right health and medical information from the internet. I urge the readers to ask the following questions in analysing a medical website, and the answers they get can determine the quality of information on the website.

Website ownership

Is the website owned by the government, educational institutions or private companies? In general, most websites owned by government are not biased and are promoted in the interest of the public. Majority of privately or company owned websites are developed for promoting products for sale or for other vested interest.

Author

Who is the author of the site? Is the author a doctor, medical scientist, health professional or any expert in health and medical field? Or is he/she a patient who has suffered an incurable condition for a long time, such as, multiple sclerosis patient or cancer survivor? Is the author a well-known figure or has he/she published any other credible articles or books? The information on the website will be more authoritative if the author does not have any personal interest or the site is not sponsored by commercial organizations. Also the site that has the contact details of author or publisher gives more weight to the site than those which do not have such information.

Website content

Is the content up-to-date? When was it last updated? Does the content show references to other authoritative sources? Is the information evidence-based? Is the language clear or is it loaded with medical jargons, terminologies or other ideas hard to understand? People love to read articles which are easy to understand and written in plain layman’s language. Simple demonstration or easy to understand diagrams and charts help people understand health and medical terms better.

Does the website promote holistic approach to health?

This is an important factor in choosing the right website for health and medical information. The site should provide complete and in depth information on the subject of interest. For example, if a website is about breast cancer, the readers should be able to get answers to questions such as:

What is breast cancer?
Is there a cause of breast cancer?
What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
Does it run in family?
How is it diagnosed and treated?
What happens if a patient refuses treatment?
Does the site give information on complications of treatment or follow up schedule?
Does it give information on any alternative modes of treatment?
What about prevention and screening for breast cancer?
Does the site address other issues related to breast cancer including psychological and sexuality issues, family and financial hardships etc?

Does the site provide links to other sources of information for help and support?

For example, a website on “Quit Smoking’ should have Quitline telephone numbers, counselling services for smokers, or contact details of health professionals involved in quit smoking programs.

Is the information specific to a country or a region?

Many websites provide information that is relevant to a particular country or region and are not tailored to the international readers. So, obtaining such information from a website which is country or region-specific may not be relevant or accurate. For example, immunization schedules differ between countries, level of health care services and types of treatment differ, and even drugs usage differs. It is therefore important to identify whether the information on the internet is for readers in a particular geographic area or country or it can be used internationally.

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Ebola – An African Epidemic – Health and Medical Issues

In the year 1976, Ebola climbed out of its unknown hiding place, and caused the
death of 340 people. Fear gripped the victims’ faces, and uncertainty tortured
their minds. The people of Zaire waited outside clinics, churches and in their
homes for a treatment of the horrible disease, but there was no cure. They were
forced to watch people die, hoping that they would be saved from the violent
death of the Ebola virus. From the year of 1976 to the present date of 1996,
researchers have searched for origin and cure of the virus. Scientist have
carried out numerous studies and investigations, but no one has been able to
find the right explanations. Prevention of a world wide outbreak lies within the
education of what the virus is capable of doing, how Ebola victims can be
properly treated, and by performing prompt action to isolate the virus before it
has dispersed.

The Ebola virus is a member of a family of RNA viruses know as filoviruses.
Marburg virus and four Ebola viruses: Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Reston and Tai are the
five different viruses that have been known to cause disease in humans, while
Ebola Reston only causes disease within monkeys. Filoviruses are the viruses
responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers. All forms of virus of viral
hemorrhagic fever begin with fever and muscle aches. Ebola Zaire attacks every
organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a
perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a
digested slime of virus particles. The seven mysterious proteins that,
assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle work as a relentless
machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies
of itself. Your skin develops blood clots under the skin. Your organs turn to

mush and the underlayers of your skin die and liquefy. The !
skin bubbles up to form a blood rash. Your mouth bleeds, and you bleed around
your teeth, and you may have hemorrhages from the salivary glands. Every
opening in your body, no matter how small, excretes blood. The surface of the
tongue turns brilliant red and then falls off. It is swallowed or spat out when
you vomit up blood. Your heart bleeds in itself and you are not dead. Blood
gets into your eyelids and you weep blood. Before you finally die your body
twitches considerably from grand mal seizures.

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