Taking Control of Your Health

By Margot Adam Langstaff, CWCC Member

Think of those days that you are at your best – you are cranking through work, all energetic, feeling great – wouldn’t you love to have a day like that every day? You bet, and so would your employer. The costs of workers not feeling well and not being well, is killing companies – health care is just costing us way too much.

Think of AT&T – spending $5.5 billion in 2011 on health care – yet that is billion! And it is growing every year by around 10-20%.  Another billion, every year – this is unsustainable, we have to do something.

So, why is this happening?

Think of what most of us do everyday – our days are spent answering emails – just sitting there moving those fingers wildly, and the rest of your body just is stagnant…sedentary…no movement.  Then, think that all those coffee cakes and doughnuts that are served up in the office.  Think of the deadly combination – what impact is this having?  We are just getting wider and wider….that is one reason health care is costing us so much – we are not taking care of ourselves.

Well, what a shock when I read the following…

The obesity epidemic in America has been widely documented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 32% of adults in the United States are overweight and 34% are obese. Among American workers participating in corporate health and wellness assessments, obese workers had a substantially higher prevalence of metabolic, circulatory, musculoskeletal, and respiratory disorders. Moderately obese workers (BMI 30.0-34.9) incurred total annual healthcare costs 21% above those with normal weight. Severe obesity was associated with healthcare costs that were 75% higher than those with normal weight.

Time for all of us to get better, feel better, take control of our health, become more energetic.  I suggest that when one is behind that computer, every hour just get up and stretch for a few minutes.  Have a few hand weights by your desk and just stand a pump out a few reps, get a stretch band and move those arms. Every couple of hours, go out and walk around the block. You will feel so much better – and more energetic.  It is amazing that the more we move, the more we want to move – you just start feeling better which leads us to start changing our behavior a bit more towards the healthier side.

Become the health advocate in your office.  Bring in healthy foods to snack on – ban the doughnuts, bagels and coffee cake.  The more we help out, the better chance that the money will goes towards a raise versus the increase in health care costs – in the end, we really control a lot of how that money will be spent, right?

Margot Adam Langstaff is a Managing Partner and Co-owner of LifeHealth.  She is a Harvard educated, US Army Veteran, Nurse Clinician.

LifeHealth is a clinical wellness company, working with companies to help manage health care spending. They provide consulting services to understand where the money is being utilized and then design and deliver customize clinical programs to better manage the health and wellness needs of the employees, leading to decrease costs and better outcomes.  For more information visit http://www.lifehealthcorp.com.

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