Wellness program rules update pushed back to June 2019 | Employers add boutique fitness studios to wellness plans | Study examines effect of physical activity on frailty, mortality
October 19, 2018
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
Wellness Programs & Trends
Wellness program rules update pushed back to June 2019
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has pushed back its update on wellness program regulations from January 2019 until next June, according to its regulatory agenda released this week. Rules on wellness incentives will be vacated in January under a federal court order in a case brought by AARP.
Bloomberg Law (10/17) 
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Employers add boutique fitness studios to wellness plans
Companies are sponsoring access to boutique fitness studios as a voluntary benefit or as part of an employee wellness program because it may help employees adopt long-term healthy behaviors, writes benefits consultant Nicholas Park. Boutique fitness studios are a good fit for a diverse workforce and can offer employees flexibility and better access to fitness classes.
Workforce online (10/18) 
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Study examines effect of physical activity on frailty, mortality
Spanish researchers analyzed data on 3,896 adults ages 60 and older and found that any of the components of the FRAIL scale -- fatigue, illness, limitation in ambulation, low resistance and weight loss -- was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, while pre-frail and frail people were at a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with robust individuals. The findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that CVD-related death rates among physically active but frail individuals were the same as those for pre-frail and physically inactive people.
United Press International (10/18) 
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Health News & Research
Report: US birth rate declines, first-time moms are older
A report in the CDC's NCHS Data Brief found that from 2007 to 2017, US fertility rates decreased 18% in metro counties, 16% in small and medium cities, and 12% in rural areas. During the same time, however, the average age among women who had their first child increased from 26 to 28 in large cities, from 24 to 26 in small or medium cities, and from 23 to almost 25 in rural areas.
HealthDay News (10/17) 
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Omega-3 fatty acid consumption tied to healthy aging, research shows
Omega-3 fatty acid consumption tied to healthy aging, research shows
A study in The BMJ found that individuals who consumed the highest levels of seafood-derived docosapentaenoic acid had a 24% reduced risk of aging unhealthily, compared with those with the least consumption. Based on 2,622 adults from the Cardiovascular Health Study with an average age of 74, those in the top three DPA-consuming quintiles reduced their risk of experiencing unhealthy aging by up to 21%.
Medical News Today (10/18) 
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Study links adverse childhood experiences to prediabetes risk
A study in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications showed an association between adverse experiences in childhood and an increased risk for developing prediabetes indicators in adulthood, such as higher body mass index, insulin resistance or waist circumference. Researchers used a cohort of 1,054 individuals with a mean age of 55 and found that physical abuse was tied to increased fasting insulin levels and waist circumference, while sexual abuse and financial strain correlated with an increased BMI.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (10/18) 
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Researchers examine effect of poverty on heart health in teens
Adolescents from low-income families were at a greater risk of developing heart disease and were more likely to be obese or to smoke than those from affluent families, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers evaluated data on 11,557 youths ages 12 to 19 and found that 22% of teens from low-income families and 26% of those from middle-income families were obese, compared with less than 15% of adolescents from high-income families.
Reuters (10/17) 
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Schools & Community
Conn. city's parks department highlights outdoor exercise
The Parks and Recreation Department in Meriden, Conn., is promoting wellness with a twice-a-week outdoor full-body workout program at Meriden Green. The workout can be adjusted to accommodate age and activity levels.
Record-Journal (Meriden, Conn.) (10/15) 
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Okla. serving up more after-school meals
About 15,000 students in Oklahoma were served after-school meals in October 2017 -- up 121% from the year before -- according to a study by the Food Research and Action Center. Officials attribute the spike, in part, to a new Welcome Table program, in which students receive free meals and spend time with mentors.
Tulsa World (Okla.) (10/16) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
Earn your Health Savings Account Expert Certificate
It's here! AHIP's new Health Savings Account Expert Certificate course. This new online course is a comprehensive overview of HSA requirements. To help you better serve account holders, you'll gain detailed understating of HSA strategies, best practices, its role in retirement planning, triple tax benefits, and more. Upon completion, you'll earn your HSA Expert Certificate. Enroll now!
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Must-attend webinar. Register today.
Join us, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, for "Exploring Value-Based Specialty Care- Cancer and Cardio" and discover how health insurance providers use advanced clinical strategies and alternative payment models to deliver higher-quality, more affordable care. Join us, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, for "Rethinking Post-Acute Care to Drive Value" when leaders at CareCentrix will showcase how health insurance providers are evolving in their post-acute care strategies.
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Find better candidates faster with AHIP's Career Center
Ordinary job boards have their pros and cons, but the AHIP Career Center is all pros! Unlike mass market sites, the AHIP Career Center was created for health care professionals. With data tools that get you from pre-interview to onboarding faster. It's the better way to target health care's best and brightest. Start recruiting now!
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