One advantage of stayin alive beyond expectations (i.e., reaching a state of perennialhood) is increased wisdom and, sometimes, witnessing desired changes. That is the hope, in any case, attributable to a long time of increasingly prescient observations and greater openness to alternate experiences. What higher time than later life to reexamine opinions and beliefs? Why finish with that old time religion or other fossilized attachments political, social and so forth? Oftentimes, these hardened impressions are outdated or otherwise ripe for reforms. Or not.
In any case, many might profit from periodic scrutiny of long held views. On occasions, some opinions, even biases, could possibly be in need of amendments, or at the very least refinements.
A private example is an extended held claim that worksite wellness programming has been and stays overly medical, dating back to the trendy restart of the wellness movement within the early 1980’s. Particularly with respect to a few of the 4 dimensions of REAL wellness, worksite programming has ignored systematic efforts to advertise positive mental skills, similar to reason (critical considering), exuberance (joy and added meaning) and liberty (expanded personal freedoms). The opposite coping with exercise and nutrition (Athleticism) has received ample attention at worksites and elsewhere.)
Is there credible evidence of a turn toward REAL wellness, recognizing that such initiatives could be addressed by other terms?
Some colleagues more attuned to workplace best practices and innovations have urged a reassessment. I’m told there are REAL wellness priorities and programs underway that promise results.
Spurred on by an invite to seem on a webinar of a number one worksite wellness organization to debate the book Not Dead Yet (NDY). I made a decision, in true stayin alive fashion, to explore what’s latest in corporate wellness.
On October 30, I participated in a hour-long webinar with Dr. Paul Terry, senior fellow and editor of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). The theme was Thriving & Flourishing (At Any Age)! The initial focus was the 56 suggestions for successful aging described within the book. Sharing the webcast podium with me was Susan Bradley Cox, certainly one of the eighteen world triathlon champions over age 75 profiled in NDY.
A CAUTIONARY NOTE ON PERSPECTIVE
Under the most effective of conditions, the impact of worksite wellness will necessarily be incidental relative to the larger issues employees face. Social determinants similar to deficient educational levels, poor housing conditions, dysfunctional cultural influences, economic pressures, crime, mental and physical disabilities and way more are more consequential but not malleable by worksite wellness. While essential, it’s helpful to appreciate that macro changes in society and the environment needs to be a priority, to not be missed while promoting employee wellbeing. A couple of health promotion classes and other initiatives to encourage good health skills and practices in the course of the few hours per week available for worksite programming mustn’t distract from the larger issues that the majority affect quality of life.
This point was made by economist Thierry Malleret on the 2023 Global Wellness Summit in Singapore October 15-17:
Skyrocketing costs of healthcare, housing and education are decimating the US middle class and causing rising inequality and anxiety-and the phenomenon is just not limited to the US. But on the subject of social and environmental progress, the US appears as a big, underperforming outlier. Based on the Social Progress Index, the US is the one developed country that’s backsliding, each in absolute and relative terms, in comparison with its peers. It now ranks twenty sixth in social progress, while Norway comes first.
Many (e.g., Benjamin Libet, Dan Wegner, Thalia Wheatley, Sam Harris and a majority of latest scientists) marshal evidence to support the view that free will is a myth, that determinism prevails. In that case, this takes the zing out of oft ballyhooed enthusiasm for self-responsibility, and witticisms similar to P.J. O’Rourke’s crack that no drug, not even alcohol, causes the basic ills of society. If we’re on the lookout for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we must always test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
THE HEALTH ENHANCEMENT RESEARCH ORGANIZATION (HERO)
HERO is a national think tank whose mission is to advance best practices in worker health promotion. HERO provides leadership in research and education on the impact of worksite wellness, on best practices for positive health outcomes and on the role and nature of healthy cultures for successful worker performance.
Over the course of several years, Paul Terry has prolonged polite and at all times collegial invitations to contemplate more charitable assessments about worksite wellness. Within the weeks resulting in the webinar, while looking for to raised appreciate positive (i.e., REAL wellness-like) programming, I reviewed HERO’s archived interviews with worksite leaders, in addition to the organization’s annual forum proceedings, research studies, think tank meetings, scorecard initiatives, briefs, blogs and news releases. All impressive, to make sure.
After receiving an advance partial draft of this text, Paul offered the next:
It is a tall order to summarize all of the ways in which workplace health is aligned with REAL Wellness as it has been occurring for a very long time and has already apparently eluded your observant proclivities. I’ve pasted an editorial below that can be published in January. I feel the ‘Pillars’ exemplify the freedom and reasoning points of your philosophy. My editorials are open access. Up to now years I’ve written about voluntariness and autonomy (liberty), about parsing between facts, truth and empirical evidence (reason and liberty) happiness and meaning and life purpose in an interview with Richard Lieder and Vic Strecher (reason and enthusiasm). In each editorial I feature cases and examples of how the private and public sector are increasingly collaborating to realize these REAL approaches.
All that strikes me as encouraging and welcome news. The theme of the recently concluded HERO forum was Thriving Organizations Achieving Well-Being Through Collaboration. Much attention was focused on the Federal government’s Healthy People 2030 initiative, a science-based rendering of 10-year national objectives. The goal of Healthy People continues to be improving the health of all Americans.
Based upon short (under six minute) expert interviews conducted on the last HERO conference with national figures in worksite wellness, an extra glimpse into REAL wellness-related initiatives in corporate programming may be sensed.
EXCERPTS FROM EXPERT INTERVIEWS
Krystal Sexton, head of Human Performance and Care at Shell, identified psychological characteristics of employees who most impact organizational performance. Such Individual qualities include hope, optimism, resilience and self-confidence; team dynamic aspects that matter most are those who are likely to lift people up, provide role clarity and find common ground.
Unfortunately, this and the opposite interviews didn’t discover specific company wellness programs that addresses these drivers of company success. I’ll look on the brilliant side and assume there have to be training for all that promotes specific agendas.
A video of and follow-up telephone and e-mail communications with Jessica Grossmeier, HERO’s Vice-President of Research, revealed the character of the HERO scorecard. The instrument is designed to assist organizations discover best practices for promoting workplace wellbeing. It identifies opportunities to enhance and measure progress.
Nevertheless, Ms. Grossmeier noted that the present version of the tool only addresses the Athleticism element, but invited suggestions about future iterations of the Scorecard. One resource was cited as an effort to assist industry professionals develop more critical considering skills. HERO has since provided more detailed examples of find out how to apply these critical considering tricks to findings in quite a few research studies.
The Expert Interview Series on HERO’s YouTube Channel features additional short videos of national leaders who spoke on the recent HEROForum19′ gathering on the Achieving Well-being through Collaboration theme.
• Nico Pronk, Dushanka Kleinman and Mary Pittman on Healthy People 2030: Objectives for the Nation and the Role of Business.
• Sara Singer, Stanford professor on 4 pillars of a culture of health and the role of internal and external collaboration.
• Brian Castrucci, President and CEO of the deBeaumont Foundation on the business case for personal sector and community partnerships and collaboration.
• Andrea Walsh, JD, President and CEO HealthPartners on the advantages to business of community health, on reducing stigma of mental illness and the imperative of partnerships.
• Matt Steifel, Kaiser Permanente on the connection between social determinants of health and the role of those aspects in workplace health and well-being initiatives.
• Karen Moseley, President, HERO on the role of collaborations and measurement development on what’s next and mission critical for HERO.
• Paul Terry, Senior Fellow, HERO, on latest study findings released for the primary time at HEROForum19′.
WHAT TO MAKE OF WORKSITE WELLNESS AFTER CONDUCTING THIS CURSORY, SKETCHY AND YES, PERFUNCTORY REASSESSMENT?
Before going any further, let me express gratitude to Paul Terry for extraordinary assistance that made possible this quick tour of latest developments and meaningful advances within the art and science of worksite health promotion. The links alone needs to be of value to many who may not otherwise have discovered these informative resources.
What’s amazing is that Paul provided this guidance while climbing down and out of the Grand Canyon, communicating only by carrier pigeons and mirrors to relay data to HERO headquarters in Minneapolis. (The part about climbing within the Grand Canyon is true.)
So, did I profit from this periodic review of my notion that worksite wellness has done too little to advertise wellbeing while focusing an excessive amount of on identifying and modifying dangerous habits? It seems so. As all study authors note on the conclusion of their research reports, further studies (and generous grants to fund same) are imperative.
It was definitely helpful to learn more in regards to the work the HERO organization is doing on this field. HERO is to worksite wellness what the National Wellness Institute once was to the promotion of the wellness concept and the Global Wellness Institute is for the concept today — a worldwide promoter of research, initiatives, roundtables, annual summits, discussions, gatherer of wellness evidence and sponsor of daring initiatives, similar to The Wellness MoonshotTM: A World Freed from Preventable Disease. In their very own words, the GWI informs and connects key stakeholders able to impacting the general wellbeing of our planet and its residents. Not incidentally, GWI makes all of its worthwhile information and resources available for free of charge, which allows anyone, anywhere, access.
In conclusion (finally), this review has made me more informed and way more inquisitive about learning more about latest developments in worksite wellness relative to REAL wellness. Again, due to all who contributed, directly and otherwise.
A REFRESHER ON THE CONCEPT OF WELLNESS
Wellness initially took root as a life-style, a way that individuals make informed selections to ascertain and sustain positive levels of mental and physical health beyond the absence of illness and disease. The approach to life is founded on personal responsibility, disciplined habits and skills related to effective decision-making, enjoyment of life, exercise, nutrition, stable emotions, personal freedoms of mind and body, ample meaning and purpose, a supportive culture and environmental awareness, amongst other life-enriching qualities. In a piece setting, safety may also be promoted, in the shape of freedom to talk freely without fear of retribution.
This meaning of the word is consistent with REAL wellness, the difference being that the modifier REAL introduces 4 specific categories or dimensions through which vital skills and positive outcomes are organized. These 4 dimensions can encompass all venues through which we function, similar to the social, occupational and other life areas commonly put forth as wellness dimensions. (As if different skills were required for optimal functioning in varied spheres of life.) The 4 REAL wellness dimensions are reason, exuberance, athleticism (exercise and nutrition) and liberty.
REAL wellness should encourage and guide people to think and performance rationally, to live exuberantly, to take care of physical fitness, to dine properly consistent with factual dietary knowledge and to live as freely as possible. The latter means becoming liberated from cultural or circumstantial elements similar to superstitions, irrational dogmas and other mental and social limitations that add constraints on personal liberties.
And that is about it, folks.