As we approach February’s Heart Healthy Awareness Month, many workplaces and clinics will be offering the opportunity to get your heart healthy numbers checked. This can be done as part of your Employee Wellness Program offering with an onsite health screen or encouraging annual physical well check visits where the physician can explain what the numbers and results mean and how your employees can get their numbers to a healthy level.
All too often, organizations that conduct employee health screens and are provided the helpful data and aggregate reporting to help improve their employee’s health (and the health of their bottom line) but nothing is ever done with the data, or the numbers aren’t explained so employees can understand what their health risks really mean and how to make changes to improve health and well-being. Measured annually, employers can see aggregate health improvements.
We know that 8 health risks and behaviors drive 15 of the most chronic and preventable conditions that impact an average of 75% of healthcare costs. Studies show that if employers can target just 3 of the 8 population health risks, they can save up to $700/year.
It’s no surprise that oftentimes, modifications in lifestyle including regular exercise and a healthier, cleaner diet can help and improve biometric markers to a heart healthy level, thus helping to prevent heart disease risks down the road, or in the immediate future!
Companies today are finding the benefits of incorporating Health Coaching along with screen results as part of employee wellness program strategy to help employees understand their numbers, what it all means and learn the “How To’s” of prevention and how to make behavior changes and lifestyle modifications.
Helping employees know their numbers is just the first step to health improvement. Helping employees actually UNDERSTAND their numbers is the second critical step. This is where the true value a well-designed employee wellness program can create change, help save lives and make a difference, both in the health of your workforce, and to your company’s financial bottom line.
Here’s a quick reference of the health markers that indicate the health of an employee population. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals keep these critical health numbers within the following ranges:
- Blood Pressure: 120/80 or lower
- Total Cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dl
- LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dl
- HDL (Good) Cholesterol: 50 mg/dl or higher
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dl
- Fasting Blood Sugar: less than 100 mg/dl
- Body Mass Index (BMI): less than 25 (can calculate by: Weight/Height x Height in inches x 703 – i.e. 150/68″ x 68″ x 703 = BMI)
- Waist Circumference: 35″ For Women, 45″ For Men
Remember, medication (thus higher claims and health insurance costs) is NOT the first answer. Understanding how to make healthy lifestyle changes and annual health screens are what is prescribed by the AHA.
We can help you provide employees with onsite health screens and education to understand results. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.