Wellness: More Important Today Than Ever
By Melanie Algermissen, Assistant Vice President of Wellness, Methodist Health System
As a health care professional, you take care of patients all day (and sometimes all night), but who’s taking care of you? Methodist Health System’s Live Well, Shine Bright employee wellness program does just that, enabling employees to establish individual health goals and to incorporate healthier habits into their lives.
Keep your body in tune. Our bodies are designed to operate efficiently, like well-oiled machines. Healthy behaviors fuel those machines, but over the course of time, our society has become more sedentary. A typical day for most Americans includes sitting in traffic to get to work, grabbing fast-food meals, sitting at a computer, and then sitting in the car again to go home. At the end of the day, we watch television, catch up on Facebook, or surf the Internet. Even hospital employees, who historically have been on their feet all day, use technology that makes the job easier -- and less physically active -- than ever before.
It’s a never-ending cycle that contributes to increasing chronic diseases. In Dallas, for example, 30 percent are obese, and 25 percent are physically inactive. Nationally, almost 26 million have diabetes and seven million don’t know it. Chronic conditions are plaguing America, many of which are preventable through healthy behaviors. That’s why wellness is more important than ever.
Put Some Spark in Your Step. Wellness in the workplace is the ideal time to educate employees and help create health habits that may add more years to their lives, but more important, add more life to their years. Here’s my personal philosophy for the Live Well, Shine Bright program:
- Move more
- Eat better
- Manage weight and stress
- Stop using tobacco
- Create a support network
Practice makes perfect. At Methodist, our objective is to help employees achieve their health goals. We offer annual biometric screenings and an online health assessment to help our employees understand their health profile and determine their risk for chronic disease. We are about to launch a program that provides our employees with an onsite health coach who can empower them to take charge of their health by creating a personal health improvement plan. This summer, we’re rolling out a Wellness Institute that will house ongoing health education programs. In addition to instituting a culture of wellness that we live and breathe every day, we encourage employees to develop a support network both at home and at work that will motivate them to achieve their goals. As the saying goes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint – and we want to be with our employees every step of the way to ensure their success in leading a healthy lifestyle.
The benefits? Healthier individuals, more quality time with families and friends, fewer chronic health conditions, and ultimately, better care for patients and their families.
At Methodist Health System, we want our employees to live well and shine bright in all areas of their lives. To let your light shine, visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.
© Methodist Health System