How Access to Health Statistics Empowers Employees
April 18, 2018
Do I need to go gluten-free? What’s the impact of eating red meat when it comes to my longevity? How much physical activity should I be getting? It’s impossible to create a healthier life if you cannot envision how a healthier life might look.
Only 12% of American adults are well-informed users of healthcare. Another study found that people with basic or below basic health literacy had more doctor visits, and spent more on visits and prescription medications. Afterall, literacy and technology skills are important in our information-rich environment as the more people know, the more likely they are to make decisions based on what they know. In short, understanding insurance coverage, medical benefits and even employee benefits will yield employees and individuals to make better decisions that utilize these benefits.
To improve health literacy, Quizzify is an online program that provides “humorous, trivia-style quizzes” for employees, including questions on nutrition labels, medical procedures, and prescription side-effects. One wellness coordinator explained that she implemented Quizzify monthly for her staff, because “you’re probably going to have a better overall outcome if you are informed about your own situation and understand the options available for your care.”
Similar to the fit challenges that wearables were designed to inspire--seeing factual details about how your health measures up, even if competing with just your own data, often provides the motivation to learn more, burn more, and eat better.
It’s also important for employees to understand general health insurance terms and the health benefits specific to their company, as taking full advantage of one’s health insurance plan improves employee morale and well-being. Employees will also feel better and be motivated to stay on track with making positive wellness decisions when they understand what is being offered and what is available for them to incorporate into their everyday.
Access to health statistics can empower employees to make more informed decisions, especially when looking at the intersection of health and the workplace. Statistics on wellness in the workplace and learning about different elements of their own corporate wellness programs can help employees better evaluate or use what their own company provides.
Stress is unfortunately a prominent health issue in the workplace, and learning of its effect on health is the first step to understanding why it’s so important to decrease stress. Two such ways to decrease workplace stress are mindfulness meditation or physical activity. Many workplaces are seeking outside support, from yoga or pilates instructors on retainer, to offering meditation apps as part of employer wellness programs for employees. Fitness-related apps such as our ActiveSoul app, allow employees to tailor fitness programs to their personal lifestyle preferences, while actively participating in corporate wellness programs designed to keep staff motivated and healthy.