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January 14, 2013
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Strategies to improve employee and population health

  Wellness Programs & Trends 
  • Employee wellness program trends to expect this year
    Corporate wellness programs will continue to be a key benefit offering this year and employers are expected to branch out from the usual employee wellness options. Aside from more attention on retaining and sustaining employee participation in the programs, Aon Hewitt's senior vice president Stephanie Pronk expects to see employers target employee families and dependents, encourage and influence community wellness, and show more transparency. (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Want happier workers? Go on a hike
    Dropbox holds regular "hillcore" events, in which workers are encouraged to climb a hill together. The hikes help employees clear their heads, boosting overall productivity and helping foster collaboration and innovation, says programmer Dan Wheeler. "When you're programming, you're doing your job more effectively if your mind is going faster. When you're hiking, you're letting your mind wander," he explains. Fast Company online (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  • Fewer college students have P.E. requirements, study finds
    Only 39% of students at four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. had physical education and exercise requirements in 2012, compared with 97% in 1920, according to a study in the journal Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. "It is alarming to see four-year institutions following the path that K-12 schools have already gone down, eliminating exercise as part of the curriculum even as obesity rates climb," said lead author Brad Cardinal. HealthDay News (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health News & Research 
  • Study says environmental tobacco smoke raises dementia risk
    People who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have a 29% higher risk of severe dementia, according to a study of older adults in China, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The U.K. researchers said public health campaigns to reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke will help lower the risk of dementia. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Many children with chronic conditions have used alternative remedies
    Nearly 50% of more than 900 parents of children admitted at two Canadian pediatric hospitals reported the use of complementary and alternative medicine along with conventional treatment, a study in the journal Pediatrics showed. About 10% of the respondents said they considered alternative remedies before resorting to conventional therapy. Researchers said that the most commonly used CAM products were vitamins and minerals, while the most popular CAM practice was massage. The Huffington Post (1/14), (Canada) (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Whole Grain Stamp may not indicate healthiest products
    Grain products with the Whole Grain Stamp icon on the package had more fiber and less trans fat but also contained greater amounts of sugar and calories than did those without the stamp, according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health. The study, published online in the journal Public Health Nutrition, evaluated several guidelines for grains and said the American Heart Association standard, which uses a ratio of total carbohydrates to fiber, was the best standard for overall healthfulness. Boston Herald (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools & Community 
  • Pedestrian safety project curbs injury rates in NYC schools
    New York City schools participating in the Safety Routes to School initiative saw a 44% decline in the number of school-aged pedestrians who got injured before or after school between 2001 and 2010, U.S. researchers found. They said that more than 200 pedestrian injuries among students in the city could be prevented by expanding the initiative. The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics. Reuters (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "If it tastes good, they will eat it," educator finds
    Thirty-two schools in a Texas district have earned HealthierUS School status from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The recognition follows an effort to serve more fruits and vegetables and promote fitness and nutrition in schools. "When they first started changing the menu, if you will, a few years ago, we were worried that the kids wouldn't be eating it, but they love it," said Kim Broadway, elementary-school principal. "If it tastes good, they will eat it." KXAS-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Wellness Industry Developments 
  AHIP News 
  • Age band compression under health care reform
    A new study finds premiums will increase on average 42% for people aged 21 to 29 and 31% for people aged 30 to 39 due to age rating restrictions contained in the Affordable Care Act. To raise awareness of these and other factors driving premiums, AHIP has launched Time for Affordability. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Preparing for Exchanges: Moving from B2B to B2C
    Join us from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 17 to learn what opportunities and challenges health plans will face as a result Health Benefit Exchanges. Topping the list is how to transform marketing from B2B to B2C. Register now. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
--Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette,
French novelist and performer

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