Experts: Companies may tap plan assets for financial wellness | Wis. school district benefits from consolidating wellness plans | Pa. school district seeks companies to help with walking bus
 
July 28, 2015
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Wellness Programs & Trends
Experts: Companies may tap plan assets for financial wellness
Companies may be able to tap benefit plan assets to help fund employee financial wellness programs, experts said. There is a requirement that programs be tied to retirement planning, but employers should be able to measure outcomes and show whether the wellness program helps employees improve use of their 401(k) accounts. PlanAdviser.com (7/27)
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Wis. school district benefits from consolidating wellness plans
The Eau Claire Area School District in Wisconsin improved employee wellness after it consolidated its wellness programs under one holistic group. The district was able to assess overall health risks and health care utilization data and worked with its insurer to open a near-site employee clinic that focuses on preventive care and check-ups. The Chippewa Herald (Wis.)/Chippewa Valley Business Report (7/27)
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Other News
Making Work-Life Balance Work
For startups or established enterprises, juggling the demands of work and the rest of your day means knowing what's important, setting boundaries and getting creative. Click here to read Boomtown: Think Like a Startup

Fitness
Local breweries combine exercise and beer
Local breweries across the U.S. are combining beer with exercise classes or events, offering their craft brews as a reward for fitness efforts. Louisville Bowspring founder Justin Wuetcher teaches yoga at the Goodwood brewery and said the classes are a good way to build community in a place that is not intimidating. The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (tiered subscription model) (7/27)
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Health News & Research
Study: Scaling back nicotine levels does not compel smokers to quit
A two-year study suggests low-nicotine cigarettes alone do not compel smokers to quit. Of 80 people who smoked cigarettes with as little as 5% of regular nicotine levels, only one quit smoking. "Nicotine reduction would work best in the context of public education, easy access to smoking cessation services and the availability of non-combustible sources of nicotine for those who have difficulty stopping nicotine completely," said researcher Dr. Neal Benowitz. HealthDay News (7/25)
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Risk of metabolic syndrome tied to short sleep duration
People who slept for less than seven hours daily had an odds ratio of 1.23 of having metabolic syndrome, compared to 1.13 among those with a daily sleep duration of seven to eight hours. The findings in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, based on 18 studies with 75,657 participants, also revealed that the odds ratio of having metabolic syndrome further increased with shorter sleep durations. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (7/22)
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Survey links Facebook ties to body image, risky dieting
An online survey of college-age women showed those with stronger emotional connections to Facebook were more likely to compare their bodies with their friends' bodies and to adopt riskier diet habits. The study by the University of North Carolina was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. HealthDay News (7/27)
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Schools & Community
School nutrition standards improve access to healthy foods
Study data show in the 2012-13 school year it was just about as likely that students at racially diverse schools would get fruits, vegetables and whole grains each day as it was for students at predominantly white schools. A nutrition gap seen in 2010-11 began to close as schools started implementing new nutrition standards, researchers say. The Hill (7/27)
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Survey: Many Minnesotans are not close to full-service grocery store
A survey of Minnesota residents found more than one-third have to travel at least 10 minutes to get to a full-service grocery store, according to the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Most people said retailers, individuals and schools have some responsibility to create a healthy food environment, while 39% cited government and 22% said employers. BringMeTheNews.com (Minnesota) (7/27)
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Wellness Industry Developments
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