Barriers to Health and Wellness Programs

Barriers to Health and Wellness Programs



um so it sounds like for many the comments are coming in that you've seen a lot of these own you know barriers in your organization this is a follow up question which is you know other important barriers and some of these have been raised you know already in the comments but we'd be really curious if there's other barriers that you've seen that are really quite prevalent or important beyond those that we've examined so Tanya's got one that she brought up earlier and it goes back to one of the ones in our study but with one of the things we've consistently heard from companies throughout the work we've done with the working groups and some of the interviews with companies is around how to create awareness and there is this huge complexity right so depending on what the offices look like and Brad talked about this as well as the work from home population often feels they get less communication and maybe that's because it's buried in emails or and so a lot of companies have really struggled with how do you communicate this is it should if the paper pushed out to folks at home should it be posters in the break room should it be emails and I think that the overwhelming answer we've heard from companies is as many different ways as possible to reinforce it I think a trend we also started to see the last few times we did working groups was some simplicity to this so not having 17 or 20 or 50 or 100 different health and wellness programs going on simultaneously but trying to cut through some of the chatter by getting down to a fewer number of programs that you think will actually be successful so that might be one of the trends –it that I've really popped to me over the last few years I think to your question David you know we've certainly heard from many organizations kind of going to the these outcome based you know measurements looking at various metabolic you know indicators is kind of key outcomes that they track I still think that's often seen as a precursor to hopefully better health and healthcare savings so I think it's somewhat interesting that you didn't find significant differences between those that engage versus those that didn't I wonder if part of that might be also some of what we've seen in this research which is those who are already healthy we're already engaging anyway and those that weren't weren't and so you don't really see kind of big change but there is some research out there I'd be happy to share with you if you want to reach out to me that you know we have seen sighs I've looked at kind of the return on investment of these programs Johnson Johnson did about an eight-year evaluation of their program and did find kind of significant you know cost savings you know link to these programs so not to say that I'll be the same across every organization but I think that's often kind of the ultimate goal do you think there again this is a so I mentioned this earlier I think that the outcome of these programs are twofold and I think Brad mentioned this as well for that healthier population I do think the investment in and having these programs of visibility's programs is a is a clear signal of culture that helps to engage those folks who are either healthiest right so that is seen as a you are investing me you are giving me these opportunities to continue my current lifestyle and my current health choices I think the biggest savings on the healthcare in is really getting that lower quartile the bottom 20 or 25% of a health population and your company is engaging and that's where you see the biggest difference and that's what the research tends to see too in the science and medical journals is it's really getting that population moving and getting them up and eating healthier that that's where you see the biggest healthcare returns but we also know is that often takes years oh right so getting up and walking today for the next month two months it's going to be multiple years before that actually pays off in terms of some of the healthcare risks and so I'm associated with the released healthy population so it's really also about not just getting them started but how do you create the incentives how do you create the path how do you create the reduce of barriers that keep them going once they get started see a few more people typing in so Jolin and Amy have a questions around well how do you help those that already have some existing issues and that I think again we didn't have it in this research but in the working groups what we've tended to see is that's where that healthcare adviser or healthcare coach really giving people more information about their specific challenges and so it may actually go back to one of the earlier comments around giving people their actual health care statistics a lot of companies we start to see we're paying for people and paying for their employees to go out and have some of the biometrics done to give them a sense of where they sit but then matching them up with a coach to help them with specific challenges that they might have so if it's around diabetes challenge or if it's around blood pressure or if it's around cholesterol or if it's around body mass whatever it might be I'm giving them a coach that can help them think through their specific challenge I think that's one of the things that we're starting to see is how much of this might need to be personal interventions versus hey let's just create one thing for the whole company because I think most people who find it a barrier to get started that's not going to help them make the make the move because they don't know where to start and how to get started so I do think there's some combination of helping people understand what their health statistics are what those health statistics mean for them in terms of them personally and what's the personal impact on their lives but then giving them some kind of coaching to help them figure out what's the right plan for them as an individual it sounds like Tanya's fall comment there that you've had good success with these wellness champions and networks and sounds like Joel that's something you're thinking about is you know maybe having these kind of networks at these different locations

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