Health Tip: Get your zeeeees.
Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by two things, a circadian clock, and
our body's need to maintain a habitual sleep schedule. By simply maintaining
a regular bedtime schedule and by establishing a relaxing nighttime routine
you can improve your quality of sleep drastically. Whatever relaxing routine
you choose to help you fall asleep make sure that you create a routine
that you can continue every night to establish that habitual sleep schedule
that your body so desires. Check out this
website to learn more about sleep and its beneficial results!
yoga, laughter, feasting, chocolate
February 14 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
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Beach Body Boot Camp - What you said
Power to the people! What you had to say...
We asked for your input on a survey (if you still haven't taken it then do so by clicking here) about a Beach Body Boot Camp. Here is what you had to say:
Aw shucks! Nice things that clients say.
See what our customers have to say about us in their own words:
Healthy lifestyle D.I.Y. - Smokers quit and employers save
Swoop up the dollars other employers have left lying on the table.
Are you trying to quit and looking for help? Let your employer know that helping you kick the habit helps their business cut costs.
Think that offering programs like smoking cessation are a soft benefit?
Think again. Simply put, smoking cessation is one of the most cost effective, preventative health measures an employer can provide.
To date, employers interested in offering smoking cessation programs might have been dissuaded by the up front cost; however, the facts suggest that those who forgo such programs pay higher costs down the road.
Consider the impact on bottom line.
When Conkling Fiskum and McCormick conducted a 2005 survey of Oregon employers, they asked employers what two issues had the biggest impact on their ability to hire new employees. Employers answered that cost of health care and lack of qualified workers (70% and 49% respectively) presented the largest problems.
Smoking, then, creates a double whammy. It not only drives up health claims, impacting the cost of employer sponsored insurance, but also means that those qualified workers who smoke spend fewer hours at work.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that about 23% of American adults smoke. According to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:
- Men who smoke incur $15,800 (in 2002 dollars) more in lifetime medical
expenses and are absent from work 4 days more per year than men who do
Smoking bans alone don't work.
The numbers show that simply banning smoking in the workplace is not
an effective means of enticing smokers to quit. Even though 67% of employers
enforce a smoke-free workplace policy, employees of such workplaces say:
-78 percent state the company's policy is not effective in motivating
them to quit
Where is the return?
The US Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Practice Guidelines state that tobacco use treatment doubles the chance that smokers will manage to kick the habit. They recommend counseling, medications, or a combination of both as the most effective means to combat smoking in the workplace.
On the counseling side, some programs are more effective than others. Research suggests that face-to-face counseling and interactive phone counseling produce better results than educational materials and efforts that put most of information gathering onus on the smoker. In addition as the number and length of counseling sessions increases, so, too do the effectiveness of such programs.
The FDA has also approved various nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patch, and lozenges to help relieve smokers' withdrawal symptoms during recovery. FDA Approved non-nicotine drug treatment, Bupropion SR, affects brain neurotransmitters that stimulate the urge to smoke.
The US Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Practice Guidelines suggest that the most effective programs will cover a minimum of four - 30 minute counseling sessions plus drug coverage per quitting attempt and cover at least two attempts per year. Reward quitters by either offering lowered health care premiums, health account savings bonuses, or, other tiered incentives upon 7, 14, 21 and 30-45 days of successful non-smoking.
Any program you offer should include the buy-in and support of top executives and management - who announce the program several months prior to its start.
How likely are lawmakers to help ease the burden that smoker's place on employer sponsored insurance? Currently the American Lung Association gives the state of Oregon an "F" grade when it comes to Tobacco Prevention and Control spending.
Legislative trends in states like Rhode Island, New Mexico and Maryland show lawmakers requiring that under some conditions, employer health plans cover smoking cessation programs. If the trend continues then ultimately employers will be forced to absorb such costs through employer sponsored insurance.
Other states are taking a lighter touch. Michigan health insurers are able to offer incentives for covered employees who participate in some wellness programs.
Innovate and benefit
Early and voluntary participation in a well-designed, implemented, documented and measured smoking cessation program should help employers reduce claims experience, increase worker productivity and health, and avoid jumps in premiums should legislation move in the direction of mandating such programs.
An American Journal of Health Promotion article showed that tobacco
cessation program benefits tend to equalize at 3 years and exceed costs
by 5 years. Innovators of such programs can harness the savings potential
early - leveraging the money saved into growing their business.
If you have a health topic that interests you and you would like to see it in the next D.I.Y. Healthy Lifestyle then write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.