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December 26, 2012
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Strategies to improve employee and population health

  Wellness Programs & Trends 
  • Teacher workouts strengthen muscles, friendships
    Teacher Christy Oakley was so happy with a mind-body workout she got at a local fitness center, she persuaded her trainer to offer it to co-workers at Founders Hall Middle School in McKeesport, Pa. The school allowed Oakley to bring the workout classes into the cafeteria three times a week, and teachers say it has had a positive impact on team-building and relationships. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ill. school staff receive incentive to model healthy living
    Officials in a Palos Heights, Ill., school district say that teachers and other school staff should be models for healthy living, which they encourage among students. To help accomplish that goal, the city council has agreed to offer in-district rates at its fitness center to school staff that live outside of the district. The district also launched a Fit Together Program this year, in which school staff earn points for eating healthy and exercising and are eligible for prizes. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (12/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Budokon uses yoga, martial arts for mind-body workout
    Budokon combines yoga and martial arts in what fitness instructor Mimi Rieger calls a "beautiful symphony" that provides a full-body workout and an opportunity to earn six colored belts. Richard Cotton of the American College of Sports Medicine says people can get the same type of mind-body experience from strength training, golf or even walking. Reuters (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health News & Research 
  • CDC: Obesity rates drop slightly in preschool-age children
    The percentage of obese, low-income preschoolers declined from more than 15% in 2003 to less than 15% in 2010, CDC researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The rate of extreme obesity went from 2.2% in 2003 to about 2.1% in 2010. Progress in reducing childhood-obesity rates may be related to greater breast-feeding rates and increasing awareness of the importance of exercise, researchers said. Reuters (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Flu season arrives early in U.S., health officials say
    Flu activity increased this month, with 12 states reporting high flu activity, the CDC reports. New York City and five states reported moderate flu activity, while 33 states reported low activity. The U.S. flu season is off to an early start, but it is too soon to tell how severe the season will be, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. HealthDay News (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Frequent Facebook usage is tied to obesity in study
    Data on 500 Facebook users revealed those who reported having strong ties with their friends showed higher BMI than those who visit the site occasionally. Social media use was associated with better self-esteem but reduced self-control, which in turn leads to unhealthy eating habits, researchers reported in the Journal of Consumer Research. The Inquisitr (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools & Community 
  • Conn. school districts move forward with meal changes
    While the U.S. Agriculture Department has offered districts some flexibility in implementing school-meal standards, nutrition professionals in several Connecticut districts say they plan to move forward with their plans under the previous guidelines, as retraining staff and students would be challenging. Others are delaying making any changes until they get further direction from the state Education Department. Record-Journal (Meriden, Conn.) (12/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Wellness Industry Developments 
  AHIP News 
  • Health systems change initiative launched
    AHIP Foundation announces the launch of the Institute for Health Systems Solutions (IHSS), an initiative designed to help advance new ideas regarding the delivery and financing of health care through credible, independent research and analysis. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AHIP’s immunization compendia highlight health plan strategies
    Immunization Innovations is AHIP’s online compendia of pioneering programs and leading best practices for measuring and improving immunization rates. Complete with outreach tools, educational resources and marketing materials, AHIP’s Immunization Innovations and infographic highlight promising models that health plans around the country have used to improve immunization rates in all populations. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you forget the ordinary."
--Magdalen Nabb,
British author

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