According to the scientists, stress kills.
Stress affects our brain chemistry and our neurological system and makes us gain weight in all the wrong places, like around the belly.
Some scientists say that the lower your place in the social hierarchy, the more stress you’ll have. That doesn’t sound terribly shocking, considering some of the difficulties of being poor.
But what is shocking is that these studies weren’t conducted on the poorest of the poor. These studies involved middle-class folks in middle-class jobs making their middle-class widgets.
Apparently, being a subordinate sucks. Read more…
It’s annual enrollment time, the autumn period when many people with job-based health insurance ante up for another year.
Although news reports have fixated on the problems with the online health marketplaces that launched Oct. 1, for the vast majority of people that’s a non-issue. If they get insurance through a job at a company that has at least 50 employees, they probably won’t be using the marketplaces, also called exchanges.
That doesn’t mean people with employer-based plans are unaffected by the Affordable Care Act. As employers adjust plans to meet new requirements and try to reduce their costs, people can expect to see changes next year. Read more…
Editor’s Note: Sometimes, readers ask about past TLNT articles they may have missed. That’s why on Fridays we republish a Classic TLNT post that some of you have requested.
Nearly 20 years ago when I was editor of a newspaper in Great Falls, Montana, there was a winter ritual that never ceased to amaze me: watching members of my staff huddled outside the back door of the building trying to have a quick smoke before they couldn’t stand the cold anymore.
Yes, north central Montana can be a pretty chilly place.
The February day I left to fly to a new job in Hawaii (that’s another story for another day), the temperature was a crisp 15 below zero with a wind chill of around minus 45, so seeing people huddled outside freezing their fannies off just because they needed a smoke seemed, well, a little excessive.
This just proved to be again that smokers go through a lot to be able to get their fix. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
I have always assumed that exhaustion affects our judgment, makes us sloppy and unsafe, and more prone to anger.
Behavioral research supports my assumptions. Perhaps our first wellness step should be a campaign to get employees to sleep … and to follow our own advice!
Dr. Christopher M. Barnes posted a provocatively titled May 31 blog, Sleep-Deprived People Are More Likely To Cheat on the HBR Blog Network. Barnes pointed out that: Read more…
Employers will be able to increase rewards to workers who participate in wellness programs under final rules released Wednesday by the Obama Administration.
The final rules, similar to those proposed in November as part of the Affordable Care Act, have raised concerns among advocates who represent people with chronic or severe illnesses, as well as among some employers. They allow employers to increase workers’ financial stakes from 20 percent of the cost of their health premiums to 30 percent, starting next year.
Participating in tobacco cessation programs carries a maximum reward or penalty of 50 percent of the cost of an employee’s health plan. Read more…
I’ve yet to talk with someone about employee wellness without hearing about how an employer allows — if not actually provides — donuts or cupcakes or something similar at meetings.
The underlying message is this: the employer can’t be very serious about wellness if they’re still offering such junk food regularly.
I don’t disagree, but how far is too far? The comments on a post about junk food-free workplaces suggests barring people from bringing in their own food is simply a bridge too far. Read more…
What does wading through mud pits or running a grueling half-marathon sound like to you?
If you’re like a growing number of companies, the answer is “team bonding.”
Fitness events like mud runs, bike trips, and other sporting challenges are increasingly common in businesses of all sizes, as companies work to increase employee engagement through teamwork, while simultaneously promoting healthy lifestyles and wellness for their workers.
For some employees, however, participation is a luxury that’s far out of reach. What happens if other commitments, different abilities, or varied interests keep some of your team from participating? Is physical exercise the best way, or will it work to marginalize some of your staff? Read more…
As more employers consider how to reduce the percentage of tobacco users in their workforces, one policy in particular has raised eyebrows and hackles more than others: No-hire tobacco policies.
Today, it’s mostly health care systems implementing these policies barring the hiring of tobacco users. They easily argue the importance of employing a workforce that boldly and uniformly stands for healthy lifestyle habits.
On the surface, it’s hard not to agree with the policy. And since health workers are the least healthy among us, perhaps we should consider this a laudable stand by their employers. But once you burrow into the ethical considerations, you may discover what a complex, divisive issue this is. Read more…
HR managers and leaders across the country are gathering together in meetings large and small, sharing ideas and concerns, and trying to understand the intricacies and impacts of health care reform on their organizations.
There are the immediate and highly publicized changes that went into effect on January 1, 2013, but there’s a slew of additional ones coming down the pike over the next several months (and years) including everything from health insurance exchanges to mandated coverage to Medicaid expansion to new taxes on high-end plans, and more.
Then there are the tangible financial costs — as requirements relative to benefits eligibility change and more employees sign onto employer plans; the Baby Boomer generation entering into retirement in droves; to the previously mentioned excise tax levied on “Cadillac Plans” – that leaves many organizations simply trying to understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and figuring out in some cases how to pay for it. Read more…
Let’s start with an uncomfortable truth — there is not one corporation that cares about its workers’ health.
If gorging on quadruple-patty burgers topped with mounds of bacon and cheese were shown to bolster productivity and engagement, then companies would be serving McFat platters daily for lunch. If growing waistlines were to yield growing profits, then every business would encourage workers to partake in a corporate un-wellness program.
So please, can we euthanize the warm and fuzzy charade that organizations are like mothers nurturing their newborns? It’s sickening. Read more…