Health & Wellness News Roundup – Sitting Disease, Wearable Tech, Massages for Mental Health, and More

wellness newsHere’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares these stories:

  • A simple way to reduce the effect of a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting is bad. We hear that a lot. So what can be done to counter its effects? In study subjects, standing had no effect on death rate (sorry, standing desk users). Instead, those who stood up and took gentle two-minute walks once per hour lowered their risk of premature death by 33 percent.
  • Data, data, everywhere. Over 200 million wearable monitoring devices are churning out data about health and daily habits. For people who use these devices, the goal is to find “ways to optimize bodies and minds to live longer, healthier lives — and perhaps to discover some important truth about themselves and their purpose in life.” But this data raises some serious questions about the ramifications of ordinary people “quantifying” their lives using these gadgets. What about privacy? Who owns the data? How should it be used? [Read more…]

Health & Wellness News Roundup – Federal Guidelines, Stress Killers, Broga, and More

wellness newsHere’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares these stories:

  • New federal guidelines–what do you need to know? You should consider five things going forward with your workplace wellness program. Here are the big three: don’t force employees to participate, keep medical information confidential, and limit incentives.
  • They say not to look at your neighbor’s paper in school, but if you lead a wellness program, it can be extremely helpful to see what others are doing. A recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans revealed trends in workplace wellness such as the most popular fitness and nutrition initiatives (the top choices were wellness competitions, health coaching, and healthy food choices) and biggest barriers to program success (workers’ lack of time is a major one).
  • A plant, a nap, and your dog. What do these things have in common? They are guaranteed to reduce anxiety, kill stress, and boost mood during the workday. Put a plant on your desk. Make like Da Vinci and nap more. Or, just bring your pup along if your workplace allows it–he’ll probably be happier, too. [Read more…]

Health & Wellness News Roundup–May 1

wellness newsHere’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares these stories:

  • Where do we go from here? Workplace wellness continues to gain momentum, but employers need to sharpen their strategic focus. This survey gives some insight and advice on how to shape and shift your program into one that gets results.
  • Quantifying world happiness. In the new World Happiness Report, Switzerland and the Nordic countries still top the list, meanwhile the U.S. isn’t in the top ten. The report attributes some of our unhappiness to having trust issues. But why should we believe them?
  • The new surgeon general believes boosting health has nothing to do with medicine, but more to do with prevention. His mantra is this: eat healthy, stay physically active, focus on emotional and mental well-being, and stay away from drugs.
  • Too stressed? Take a walk. After taking lunchtime walks, study subjects were more relaxed, enthusiastic, and less nervous in the afternoon. This is good news because it’s something that everyone can do if they set aside the time. [Read more…]

Health & Wellness News Roundup – April 23

wellness news
A healthy twist on an old favorite? See below.

Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares stories about:

  • The perfect amount of exercise. (It’s not as impossible as you might think.) Any amount of exercise is going to do wonders for your health, but it turns out the often-cited 150 minutes of activity per week is actually the minimum recommended amount. Recent research found that the exercise sweet spot is triple that amount–or a little more than an hour of moderate exercise per day. Pepper your week with more brisk, long walks and you will prolong your life.
  • Improving your workplace wellness program evaluation skills. Flip to page 21 of the spring edition of Forward HR magazine for five tips on how to become a better evaluator. The article was written by HWM’s very own program manager, Theresa Islo.
  • An apple a day can’t keep the doctor away, but a painting of one might. Garden, puzzle, paint, sculpt, garden, craft, join a book club. If you have an artistic or social hobby when you’re middle aged, you’ll lower your risk of getting dementia later in life by a whopping 50 percent.
  • Starting with the lunch line. How do you get a wellness initiative going? Learn from this South Carolina company, which started with small, inexpensive changes such as removing fried food from the cafeteria menu and putting a salad bar full of colorful vegetables front and center.

[Read more…]

Health & Wellness News Roundup – April 16

wellness newsAs a health promoter and educator, it’s important to keep up with the latest health and wellness news. That’s why each week, we scour the Web to bring you the best stories on health research, corporate wellness, fitness, nutrition, wearable tech, and more. Share these articles with colleagues and employees, or simply stay on the cutting edge yourself!

This week, we share five stories:

  • What Seventh-day Adventists and citizens of Okinawa, Japan have in common. Both live in Blue Zones, regions with the world’s highest concentrations of centenarians. Researchers credit their long lives to plant-based diets, strong social ties, and other healthy behaviors.
  • “Meaningful” being the operative word. Two things are key to selling the value of employee wellness programs: 1) More meaningful initiatives than just giving out gym membership reimbursements, and 2) understanding ROI.
  • Unfortunate news for young women’s hearts. In women between ages 29 and 45, the incidence of heart disease is rising. A bunch of reasons account for it, but most of all stress. Women underestimate the dangers of heart disease, worrying about cancer when actually heart attacks and strokes are their number one killer.
  • [Read more…]

One Student’s Journey from Nutrition Enthusiast to Future Health and Wellness Program Manager

Cynthia Okeleye photographed for UW-River Falls Health and Wellness Management program 05282014 Photo by Kathy M Helgeson
Cynthia Okeleye will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness Management in May.
Photo by Kathy M. Helgeson.

When you see a burger or a slice of pie, which of these is your first thought:

  1. Looks delicious; must eat now
  2. I probably shouldn’t *
  3. What’s in this food?

*But you eat anyway

If you chose number three, then you have something in common with Cynthia Okeleye. She enrolled in the UW Health and Wellness Management program a year and a half ago, but she has been fascinated with nutrition for much of her life.

“I think it’s important to know the whole process food goes through before it ends up on our plates,” she says. This interest is one of the driving forces that set her on the path to become a health and wellness manager. [Read more…]

Health and Wellness Gave Her a New Beginning, and Now, a Career in Corporate Wellness

Jessica Waytashek corporate wellness program coordinator
Jessica Waytashek manages a corporate wellness program for Mills Fleet Farm. This spring, she will earn a Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management from University of Wisconsin.

Mom. Wife. Personal Trainer. Marathon Runner. Fitness & Health Advocate.

After reading Jessica Waytashek’s ten-word Twitter description, it’s hard to believe that she could fit anything more into her busy life. But she’s also a student in the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program, set to earn her bachelor’s degree this spring.

What’s even more impressive is that Jessica has already landed a job as the health and wellness coordinator for Mills Fleet Farm. She was originally hired as a benefits specialist, but the company created a new position for her last May after considering her interests and soon-to-be degree. At the moment, she is designing a corporate wellness program, which includes health risk assessments and biometric screenings.

Jessica loves it.

[Read more…]

It’s a Hit! Free Online Worksite Wellness Course Draws 1,600 Attendees

Expert Dr. David Chenoweth, instructor for worksite wellness course
Internationally known wellness expert Dr. David Chenoweth hosted Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI, a free online course offered by the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program in fall 2014.

This past fall, the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program offered a free online course in worksite wellness program evaluation—and it was a hit!

More than 1,600 attended Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI, a four-session massive open online course (MOOC) that kicked off October 20. Hosted by renowned wellness expert Dr. David Chenoweth, the course taught attendees from around the world the tools and strategies they need to evaluate worksite wellness programs, calculate ROI, and prove the value of wellness initiatives to top management within their organizations.

[Read more…]

How Healthy is Your Wellness Program? Find Out in October—Attend a Free Online Course in Workplace Wellness ROI

Whether you’d like to start a workplace wellness program or you want to gauge the effectiveness of the program you already have, you need to know how to measure its impact—on employees and on the organization’s bottom line.

This October, learn the tools the tools you need to prove the value of any worksite wellness program.
This October, learn the tools you need to prove the value of any worksite wellness program.

That’s why the University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program has partnered with renowned wellness expert, Dr. David Chenoweth, to bring you Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI—a FREE four-session, online MOOC (massive open online course) starting October 20. [Read more…]

The Secret to Successful Worksite Wellness Programs? Branding.

uw hwmApple, Google, Coca-Cola – great companies have great brands. While essential to a company’s success, creating a successful brand is no easy task. Branding health and wellness programs is no less essential and equally as challenging. Instructors with the University of Wisconsin’s online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program understand this challenge, and they see the need to train wellness professionals capable of branding successful programs.

“Branding your products and services is about building trust,” says Theresa Islo, UW Health and Wellness Management program manager, “and branding a wellness program is no different. Great brands build and maintain trust through consistently positive consumer experiences.” [Read more…]