Larry Chapman’s Blog

Results-Driven Worksite Wellness

Wellness in the Age of the Smartphone

Source: Global Wellness Institute

Author:  Larry Chapman

Few technological innovations have had as much impact on our day to day lives as the Smartphone and the ever ubiquitous screen presence. Unprecedented connectivity to news sources, larger communities of interest, instantaneous contact with family members through text messaging, notifications, reminders, email access, capability of benefiting from more than 320,000 apps, internet access, unlimited music streaming, Alexia and photography at our fingertips to name just a few. What is not to like? It’s not that this technology is inherently bad…its that it is probably too good!

Like all innovations in human culture and particularly technology-based innovations, we usually go through a predictable pattern of awareness, adoption, use, mis-use and discovery of the cautionary side of the innovation involved. Smartphones and screen technologies are no different. They can richly benefit our lives, but they also come with a cost. This edition of Connections brings one of the first reports on the opportunity costs or cautionary tales associated with excessive Smartphone use.

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NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Fighting Obesity Requires Collective Solutions

Source: Global Wellness Institute

Author:  Larry Chapman

Most of us know how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off long term.  After all, this is the land of the Yo-Yo diet.  It seems that the U.S. is in the center of a “perfect storm” regarding obesity and this edition of Connections provides a candid recognition by the medical community of the failure of clinical efforts to help people attain and then maintain healthy weight status.

In the Report from the Catalyst project at New England Journal of Medicine(NEJM), a large number of clinicians and experts were surveyed on their assessment and what they think it will take to help Americans reach healthy weight status. Their primary conclusion shouldn’t surprise us too much.  They found that almost everyone surveyed believes we have failed miserably and that there needs to be a host of collective solutions to achieve any substantial progress in solving our unhealthy body weight problem as a nation.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Wellness 2030: A Look at the Future of Wellness

Source: Global Wellness Institute

Author:  Larry Chapman

With the rapid process of change impacting American society and for that matter, all the other developed nations, it seems appropriate to take a quick look at a somewhat edgy look at the future ahead.  This report on Wellness in 2030 proposes trends and events that are likely to affect our wellness efforts and the demands that shape our careers and our field. Take a few minutes to peruse this futuristic report and note what resonates with your own perceptions.

In the Report, the pursuit of happiness is seen as the major way wellness will be manifested in the future.  Five key trends are seen as shaping this projected vision of future reality.  Several thought-provoking insights in the Report do deserve more attention.  However, as in all things future-oriented, time will tell.

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NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Meeting the Major Programming Challenges: Introducing “Solution Sets”

Source: Chapman Institute

Author: Larry Chapman

There are a range of major challenges facing virtually all worksite wellness professionals and programs. After conducting a number of formal and informal surveys and a rather extensive literature search process we have identified approximately 16 major challenges that virtually all worksite-based wellness programs face.

In response we have now developed solution set documents for each of those 16 major challenges and have integrated them into the 4 levels of WellCert certification training. This edition of Connections newsletter introduces the 4 major challenges and the recommended solution document for the Level 1 CWPC Course to all WellCert members. The first 4 Solution Set documents are combined into the downloadable PDF for this Connections newsletter. Word versions of each document are available on our website.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

HIPAA in the 21st Century

Source: JAMA Editorial

Author: Larry Chapman

HIPAA has been on the health care scene since 1996. It created some often-awkward change throughout our entire health care system when first introduced. Covered entities had new and fairly extensive requirements to protect the health care consumer from unauthorized disclosures of their personal health information. Now 22 years later we are realizing that with the advent of Facebook, Instagram, email, online marketing, and a myriad number of other communication devices and platforms we need to revisit HIPAA for the 21st Century.

Two well-known lawyer educators have weighed in on the challenges and needs surrounding health information protections post-HIPAA with a sensitive concern for not stifling the emerging utility of “Big Data” analysis potential and cooperating with consumer-directed disclosure.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Is Alcohol Safe to Consume?

Source: The Lancet

Author:  Larry Chapman

Almost every culture in human history has used alcohol in some way. But, what level of alcohol use is considered “safe” or “low risk” for us today? Each nation has adopted somewhat different guidelines for what constitutes a safe or low risk level of alcohol consumption. For Americans, according to the CDC, weekly consumption of alcoholic beverages should not exceed 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men. That’s 7 drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men to maintain a safe or low risk status regarding alcohol consumption.

Now, a landmark study has just been published in the British medical journal Lancet that examined 83 prospective studies on the effects of alcohol on human health, and particularly all-cause mortality, with 599,912 subjects and some 5.4 million life years of follow-up observations. All this data was then run through a meta-analysis process. They found that for every drink over 5 per week (about 100 grams of alcohol per week) was associated with an average loss of 40 minutes of life. This result has profound implications for the health of Americans and of American workers.

The next step is for the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to examine this evidence and formally weigh in on what new advice on alcohol use should now be given to U.S. citizens by health professionals and authorities. In the meantime, it is probably prudent for wellness programs in U.S. employer settings to share these new findings with employees and their family members.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Declining Health-Related Quality of Life in the U.S.

Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Author:  Larry Chapman

Unfortunately, some more bad news!  The health aspects of quality of life of Americans is clearly deteriorating.  This 10-year comparison showed a highly significant erosion of the perceived health-related quality of life ratings from a large national sample of adults (N = 79,402).  People are feeling worse about their health status and its impact on the quality of their lives.

This has relevance to our efforts in worksite wellness.  Many wellness programs have down-played their health emphasis and shifted to a “well-being” emphasis, but this national data questions the wisdom of that shift. The analysis of data from large national population surveys shows that for workers under the age of 55 approximately 22% of the erosion in their average rating of the quality of life was directly due to health or medical-related factors.  For those adults over the age of 55, fully 35% of the erosion was due to health or medical-related factors.

At a population-wide level, the major factors that have contributed to a perception of a lower quality of life by adult Americans were: medical (21.9%; obesity, cardiac disease, hypertension, arthritis, medical injury), economic (15.6%; financial crisis, job loss), substance use (15.3%; substance use disorder or marijuana use), mental health (13.1%; depression and anxiety disorders), and social (11.2%; partner, neighbor, or coworker problems) risks.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

The State of US Health: Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors by State: 1990 – 2016

Source: JAMA

Author:  Larry Chapman

The health of the US population is a matter of great importance to our national future.  Few analyses document the patterns, as well as this particular article, does.  This state by state analysis covers the years 1990 through 2016 and includes: Prevalence, incidence, mortality, life expectancy, healthy life expectancy (HALE), years of life lost (YLLs) due to premature mortality, years lived with disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 333 causes and 84 risk factors with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) identified.

Their primary findings reflect a wide difference in the burden of disease at the state level. Specific diseases and risk factors, such as drug use disorders, high BMI, poor diet, high fasting plasma glucose level, and alcohol use disorders are increasing and warrant increased attention. These data can be used to inform national health priorities for research, clinical care, and employer wellness program policies.

In this edition of our blog, we focus on the just-released JAMA article summarizing the state of the health of the US population on a state by state basis.  This data is valuable to employers who are concerned about the health and well-being of their employees and their family members, wherever they are located.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

CDC’s Built Environment Package

Author:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The field of public health, over the past decade, has been developing and refining a perspective and technical approach to bring a health orientation to what is called the “built-environment.”  This approach encompasses all man-made environments and how we use them and specifically, public health research has expanded the definition of “built environment” to include healthy food access, community gardens, mental health, “walkability”, and “bikeability”. In public health, built environment refers to physical environments that are designed with health and wellness as integral parts of the communities. Research has indicated that the way neighborhoods are created can affect both the physical activity and mental health of the communities’ residents. Studies have shown that built environments that were expressly designed to improve physical activity are linked to higher rates of physical activity, which in turn, positively affects health and supports worksite wellness efforts.

In this edition of our blog, we focus on the just-released package created by CDC to help employers and communities create environments that help support personal wellness behaviors.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].

Corporate Wellness Services Industry in the U.S.

Author:  Sarah Turk, IBISWorld

What services constitute the corporate wellness industry?  How big is our industry in financial terms?  How many are corporate wellness services vendors out there?  These are just a few of the answers you will find in this edition of the Connections newsletter.

Why is this important?
This 34-page report provides a concise summary of the size and major characteristics of the corporate wellness services industry in the U.S.    It is important because it is one of the few well-researched and quantitively strong examinations of the size, scope, characteristics and business performance of the corporate wellness industry.

The report provides a great deal of information about market size and the external drivers that are likely to shape the future growth of the industry.  The current overall size of the industry was estimated to be $7.8 Billion in 2016 and is projected to have a future annual growth rate of 7.8% for the next five years.  However, this growth will likely be affected in a major way by the level of corporate profits, the rates of growth in health plan coverage and cost, the number of employees in the labor force and the awareness of the prevalence of modifiable health risk factors.

The report provides validation and credibility of the size and importance of the industry to the U.S. employer community and identifies a range of key characteristics for industry analysis.

Click here to download this document

NOTE: You will need to have an active WellCert Membership in order to download this document.

I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals!  Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].