Health and Wellness News Roundup: Water Works, Healthy Hearts & Employee Wellness

We’ve collected a few of the health and wellness stories that are making the news and tossed in some resources you may not have known about.

Three (More) Cheers for Water

OK, we all know that water’s good for you, and that broadly speaking, sweet, sugary drinks… not so much.

Now a new study shows that swapping out JUST ONE sugary drink for water reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Need more evidence? Check out this Washington Post article, in which Casey Seidenberg reveals why he learned to love the simple and absolutely-necessary-to-function drink.

The American Heart Association Has Tools You Can Use

The American Heart Association has developed numerous resources for health professionals and the general public to use in promoting healthy lifestyles. Many are free, but do check as some may require nominal payment or membership. Here’s just a few of the programs they’ve put together:

Not exactly news, until you consider the fact that a lot of people don’t know about them.

The Debate About At-Work Medical Testing

There are many things that make up a successful corporate wellness program. NOT included among them are:

  • Perceived invasiveness in the name of “employee health”
  • Feigned concern about health when the concern is COST of illness
  • Assumptions about levels of physical activity (especially among high-risk cohorts such as type 2 diabetics)
  • Treating all employees the same
  • Treating all incentives the same

This article, which sites a recent scientific statement calling into question the effectiveness of at-work medical testing in employee wellness programs, questions whether programs actually measure the outcomes they’re supposed to produce, and further suggests that an irrational focus on programs and processes may be overlooking one important thing: employee health outcomes.

The study acknowledges that it’s hard to fairly evaluate effectiveness in the first place, due to the lack of standardized criteria (and advocates of employee wellness programs ought to lobby for more uniformity in this area). But it’s food for thought, especially if you’re looking to break new ground in the corporate wellness market with your programs.

The article also mentions the continuing debate (and resulting lawsuits) over whether or not employers should be able to require medical testing of any kind.

Stay tuned, and be sure to give us your take on the issue! (use the comment box below)