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|AHIP Wellness SmartBrief|
|May 1, 2012|
California launches employee wellness pilot project
California state employees will be the first to participate in a two-year wellness pilot project aimed at improving diet, reducing stress and increasing physical activity. The state hopes to save millions of dollars in health care costs. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said rather than solving budget problems by taking things away from employees, California is going in the other direction to have health care that is "good and effective and complete for people." KXTV-TV (Sacramento, Calif.)/Capitol Television News Service (4/30)
Mindfulness course aims to relieve stress at Google
Google's campus may include plenty of options for recreation, but the frenetic pace of work can be stressful. As evidence -- one of the company's most popular courses for employees is a seven-week class on mindfulness called S.I.Y., for "Search Inside Yourself." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/28)
Wisconsin county's employers pursue Well City designation
Employers in Fond du Lac County, Wis., are pursing wellness initiatives in hopes of earning a Well City designation next year. County Executive Allen Buechel said the county's nine-year employee wellness program, which includes a virtual clinic, promotes healthier employees and saves up to $50,000 a year on insurance costs. The Reporter (Fond Du Lac, Wis.) (4/30)
Squats top the list of fat-burning exercises, trainer says
Five fat-burning exercises are squats, boxing, kettlebell swings, plyometrics and cycling, fitness trainer Pamela Hernandez writes. She writes that squats are a favorite because they work all of the big leg muscles and there are many ways to vary the exercise to keep it from getting boring. DietsInReview.com (4/30)
Yoga plus spinning creates a full-body workout
Fitness instructor Gabriella Boston combines 45 minutes of high-intensity spinning and 45 minutes of elementary yoga, saying the two exercises fit well together for a full-body workout and a mind-body balance. The workout can help exercise different muscles and emphasizes flexibility and balance. The Washington Post (4/30)
Obesity costs are on the rise in the U.S.
The costs of the rising rate of obesity in the U.S. for government, businesses and individuals are greater than previously estimated and are spurring efforts to find solutions to the obesity epidemic. Research estimates that obesity-related absenteeism costs employers up to $6.4 billion a year, while "presenteeism" due to obesity comes in at about $30 billion a year. A study calculated $190 billion annually in additional medical spending as a result of obesity, higher than previous estimates. Reuters (4/30)
Study links arthritis to depression, anxiety
One-third of people ages 45 and up with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions reported having anxiety or depression, while 84% of respondents with depression also reported suffering from anxiety, according to a study in Arthritis Care & Research. "Given their high prevalence and the effective treatment options that are available, we suggest that all people with arthritis be screened for anxiety and depression," lead researcher Dr. Louise Murphy said. HealthDay News (4/30)
Food insecurity might increase childhood-obesity risk
Low-income mothers with babies younger than 6 months who reported being food insecure showed controlling feeding practices -- such as food restriction and pressuring -- which might increase the risk of childhood obesity, a study revealed. Researchers also found that food-insecure mothers were more likely than non-insecure counterparts to be worried that their child might become overweight. The results were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting and will be published in Pediatrics. Yahoo!/Asian News International (4/28)
Schools nationwide install salad bars under national program
Salad bars have been installed at 11 schools in Baltimore, Md., and officials are expected to announce that 10 more will be introduced in city schools. The efforts are part of a program led by HBO to provide 100 salad bars and 100 water tap stations in schools nationwide. "Our vision is that we are a district where, by and large, our food is as minimally processed as possible, and as healthy as possible, and that all kids have access to it," said Antonio Womack, Baltimore's managing director of food and nutrition services. The Sun (Baltimore) (4/30)
Let's get America talking. Dr. Deepak Chopra shows how.
Physician and New York Times best-selling author, Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, will share with us how we can, and should, promote a national conversation around health and well-being. What programs will yield the greatest health benefits to Americans? And, how can we work together to create a culture of health and a community of shared responsibility? Learn more at Institute 2012.
AHIP has wellness education that speaks to you
Whether you're interested in developing wellness programs for health plan members or promoting wellness activities in your own workplace, you'll find everything you need to know in AHIP's two online courses. In Part One you'll gain a solid understanding of wellness program development and in Part Two you'll learn how to use that knowledge to combat chronic disease.
It may be that those who do most, dream most."
--Stephen Butler Leacock,
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