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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

The opinions and thoughts expressed here those of the authors and do not necessarily correlate with those of the National Wellness Institute. Read more.


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Excuses, Excuses: How your logic keeps you from your goals (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

This article was inspired by a worksite wellness training that I attended. Many of the practitioners reported that their clients and employee basis always complained of "not having enough time" when the subject of exercise arose. As a group we considered this further. One of the individuals present said her worksite had done everything to make exercising more convenient. The worksite had brought teachers onsite for half hour sessions during lunch (to leave enough time to change and to eat), they had incorporated walking paths on the campus of the worksite, they had supplied vouchers for individuals to go to a gym next door to the work site, but to no avail. For the most part, people still weren't exercising.

This realization turned our discussion at the training to the matter of why people make excuses and is the excuse that people give the real reason they don't do something?

I invite you to come up with your own reasons why you make excuses and email them to me at brandan@nationalwellness.org. The following list is what my working group and I came up with:

  • Excuses legitimize a behavior
  • Excuses demonstrate our real priorities
  • Excuses often mask a true reason that an individual might not be comfortable with. For instance, the "real" reason for not working out might not be a lack of time, but a fear of how hard exercising might be.
  • Excuses often seem "logical enough" so the excuse maker doesn't have to confront the real reason he or she is making the excuse in the first place.
  • Excuses allow us to protect our positive sense of identity. For instance: "I'm a hard worker and can't make time to go for a walk."
  • Excuses highlight fears we have.

Why is understanding excuses important? Often what stands between us and our goals is us! This month I challenge readers to find a common excuse they make and overcome it. Address the real reason you are making the excuse and see how you feel if you change your actions. Most importantly, approach this exercise as fun—who knows what new you is waiting to be discovered.

Tags:  April 2011  Diet  Excuses  Exercise  Goals  Nutrition  Physical  Wellness 

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Changing the IRS Codes to Account for Workplace Employee Wellness Incentives (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Incentive Legislation Campaign (ILC), of Falls Church, VA, representatives held another round of meetings with targeted members of Congress and their advisors during a recent visit to Capitol Hill conducted as part of the ongoing campaign to promote wellness incentives that would encourage a healthier American work force and reduce health care costs.

The group advocates adding a new section 274 (p) to the Internal Revenue Code that would extend employer deductions and employee tax exemptions for wellness incentives in much the same way that the current section 274(j) does for service and safety awards that have saved as much as $10 for every dollar invested.

Led by Incentive Federation Executive Director George Delta, 10 industry representatives met with the staffs of Senate Finance Committee members: Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John Thune (R-SD), Ronald Wyden (D-OR) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). The group also met with Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), who sits on the House Ways & Means Committee.

About The Incentive Federation

Founded in 1984, the Incentive Federation is the umbrella legislative organization for the incentive field representing national trade associations, trade publications, and national trade shows. It is the only organization whose membership includes all of the industry's national trade associations and individual companies. The Incentive Marketing Association, the Promotional Products Association International, Recognition Professionals International, The Incentive Research Foundation, and SITE International Foundation are active members. More information can be found at: http://www.incentivefederation.org/

Tags:  April 2011  Incentives  Physical  Policy  Wellness  Work 

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National Employee Wellness Month (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Virgin HealthMiles, STOP Obesity Alliance, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, and Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation join forces to encourage American employers to join month-long campaign.

Forward-thinking organizations across the U.S. are taking action to control rising healthcare costs and are focusing on prevention as one of the best strategies to counter the trend. National Employee Wellness Month is an annual initiative that helps business leaders learn how companies have developed successful strategies around prevention and good health. It showcases how supportive social communities, such as the workplace, can help to improve employee health and productivity and lower healthcare costs, and how leveraging an individual's social connections helps create and sustain a workplace culture of health. Together, the supporting National Employee Wellness Month organizations and their employees understand that intelligent health decisions and supportive social communities can create a healthier, more productive workforce. What can you do in your workplace or community to spread the message of wellness and health? It is time to start planning for June!

Companies across the country can participate in National Employee Wellness Month by helping employees learn about the health and financial benefits of healthy lifestyle choices, by providing motivation and opportunities for employees to increase their daily physical activity, and by taking action to promote healthy lifestyles throughout their organizations. Information and resources about workplace wellness, along with suggested ideas for celebrating National Employee Wellness Month, can be found at www.nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com. For more information on how your organization can become actively involved in this year's National Employee Wellness Month or to pledge your company's support, contact Marian Hughes at mhughes@tieronepr.com or 708-246-0083.

Tags:  April 2011  Occupational  Physical  Social  Weight Loss  Work 

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43 Things: A website for your bucket list (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

OK, so it's been around for awhile, but www.43things.com, is a great place to list your goals, hopes and dreams, and maybe see and explore the wishes of others. Think of it as a social bucket list. Or just as a way to plan out goals and to start thinking about realizing them. Plus, other members share how they made their dreams a reality!

What are the all-time most popular goals according to 43things.com? Are your goals on the list?

  1. lose weight, 39838 people
  2. write a book, 29271 people
  3. stop procrastinating, 29258 people
  4. fall in love, 26707 people
  5. be happy, 24057 people
  6. get a tattoo, 22032 people
  7. go on a road, trip with no predetermined destination 20612 people
  8. get married, 20606 people
  9. drink more water, 20422 people
  10. travel the world, 20401 people
  11. see the northern lights, 18650 people
  12. learn Spanish, 17183 people
  13. save money, 15967 people
  14. kiss in the rain, 15440 people
  15. take more pictures, 15191 people
  16. make new friends, 13827 people
  17. learn to play the guitar, 13715 people
  18. buy a house, 13676 people
  19. get a job, 12176 people
  20. run a marathon, 12048 people
  21. learn French, 11978 people
  22. get out of debt, 11891 people
  23. read more books, 11791 people
  24. to live instead of exist, 11753 people
  25. skydive, 11263 people
  26. be more confident, 11243 people
  27. exercise regularly, 11055 people
  28. eat healthier, 10953 people
  29. write a novel, 10701 people
  30. learn Japanese, 10452 people
  31. get in shape, 10086 people
  32. quit smoking, 9281 people
  33. start my own business, 9220 people
  34. learn to cook, 9199 people
  35. read more, 8578 people
  36. travel, 8436 people
  37. learn sign language, 8363 people
  38. have better posture, 8215 people
  39. learn to play the piano, 8159 people
  40. swim with dolphins, 8081 people
  41. identify 100 things that make me happy (besides money), 8004 people
  42. visit all 50 states, 7993 people
  43. learn to surf, 7951 people
  44. wake up when my alarm clock goes off, 7654 people
  45. go skydiving, 7554 people
  46. stop biting my nails, 7430 people
  47. decide what the hell I would like to do with the rest of my life, 7388 people
  48. lose 20 pounds, 7144 people
  49. make a difference, 7142 people
  50. learn to dance, 7016 people
  51. learn to drive, 6768 people
  52. graduate from college, 6486 people
  53. get organized, 6455 people
  54. lose 10 pounds, 6321 people
  55. be a better friend, 6302 people
  56. learn italian, 6277 people
  57. have a baby, 6202 people
  58. become financially independent, 5965 people
  59. visit Japan, 5933 people
  60. create my own website, 5805 people
  61. live passionately, 5750 people
  62. spend less time fooling around on the net and more time actually working, 5612 people
  63. lose 30 pounds, 5547 people
  64. exercise more, 5543 people
  65. make more friends, 5484 people
  66. be more social, 5454 people
  67. volunteer, 5442 people
  68. get my driver's license, 5409 people
  69. backpack through Europe, 5208 people
  70. learn German, 5020 people
  71. travel around the world, 5009 people
  72. write a song, 4968 people
  73. love myself, 4954 people
  74. design my own tattoo, 4884 people
  75. worry less, 4805 people
  76. learn to play guitar, 4765 people
  77. go on a cruise, 4623 people
  78. learn how to drive stick-shift, 4571 people
  79. meet new people, 4411 people
  80. meditate daily, 4374 people
  81. go to college, 4364 people
  82. stop caring what other people think of me, 4361 people
  83. get more sleep, 4319 people
  84. practice Yoga, 4299 people
  85. design my own clothes, 4213 people
  86. create my own tattoo, 4203 people
  87. sleep under the stars, 4168 people
  88. never stop learning, 4099 people
  89. learn another language, 4089 people
  90. send a message in a bottle, 4085 people
  91. get a dog, 4067 people
  92. finish what I start, 4037 people
  93. grow my hair long, 3998 people
  94. win the lottery, 3991 people
  95. learn to sew, 3976 people
  96. figure out what I want to do with my life, 3926 people
  97. be a better person, 3869 people
  98. bungee jump, 3839 people
  99. learn to knit, 3803 people
  100. go on a road trip, 3757 people

Tags:  April 2011  Emotional  Goals  Inspiration  Physical  Social 

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High-deductible Health Plans often Equal Less Preventive Care: A not-so-fun-fact! (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

The largest-ever assessment of high-deductible health plans finds that while such plans significantly cut health spending, they also prompt patients to cut back on preventive health care, according to a new RAND Corporation study. Studying more than 800,000 families from across the United States, researchers found that when people shifted into health insurance plans with deductibles of at least $1,000 per person, their health spending dropped an average of 14 percent when compared to families in health plans with lower deductibles.

Health care spending also was lower among families enrolled in high-deductible plans that had moderate health savings accounts sponsored by employers. But when employer contributions to such savings accounts accounted for more than half of an individual's deductible, savings decreased among families enrolled in these so-called consumer-directed health plans. However, over the same period, families that shifted to high-deductible plans significantly cut back on preventive health care such as childhood immunizations, cancer screenings and routine tests for diabetes.

"We discovered that costs go down dramatically during the first year people are enrolled in high-deductible health plans, as long as the deductible is at least $1,000 per person," said Amelia M. Haviland, a study co-author and a statistician at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "But we also found concerning reductions in use of preventive care. This suggests people are cutting both necessary and unnecessary care."

Researchers examined the experiences of families insured during 2004 and 2005 through one of 53 large employers, with about half of the employers offering a high-deductible or "consumer-directed" health plan. Previous studies have tracked the impact of high deductibles, but the evidence has been limited to the experience of a few plans and employers.

High-deductible and consumer-directed health plans have been gaining favor as one way to help control health care costs. By 2009, about 20 percent of Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage were enrolled in such plans. A 2010 survey found that more than 54 percent of large employers offered at least one high-deductible health plan to their employees. Health care reform is expected to further encourage enrollment in high-deductible health plans as such plans are expected to be a key offering in the insurance exchanges being set up in many states to help the uninsured find health coverage.

The RAND study found that overall, health costs grew for people enrolled in both high-deductible and traditional plans. However, they grew more slowly in the high-deductible group. Among those with high-deductible health plans, spending was lower on both inpatient and outpatient medical services, as well as prescription drugs. Spending for emergency care did not differ. Researchers found that individual deductibles must be rather high to achieve meaningful cost savings. Cost growth for families covered in plans with moderate deductibles-from $500 to $999 per person-did not differ significantly from those in traditional plans. Cost savings only became significant when deductibles exceeded $1,000 per person.

But as families reduced their medical spending, they eliminated some care that is clearly beneficial, researchers observed. While childhood vaccination rates increased among families in traditional health plans, they fell among families in high-deductible health plans. Rates of mammography, cervical cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening and routine blood tests among those with diabetes also fell among those with high-deductible health plans relative to those in other plans. The drop in preventive care happened even though the high-deductible plans in the study waived the need to pay a deductible when receiving such care. This suggests that enrollees in high-deductible plans either did not understand this part of their policy or some other factor discouraged them from getting preventive care, Haviland said.

The finding about preventive care has implications for adoption of national health care reform in the United States. Under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health plan deductibles must be waived for preventive treatments. Researchers said the new study suggests that this fact must be clearly communicated to the public to meet the goal of increasing the level of preventive care received by Americans.

Support for the study was provided by the California HealthCare Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Other authors are Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin of RAND, Roland McDevitt of Towers Watson, and Neeraj Sood of RAND and the University of Southern California.

RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation, is the nation's largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on health care costs, quality and public health preparedness, among other topics. For more information visit: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/03/25.html

Tags:  April 2011  Emotional  Healthcare  Occupational  Physical  Prevention 

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Quotes (April 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

This month's quotes are dedicated to teachers. The following quotes are from Randy Pausch, a computer science professor, gave his "Last Lecture" after discovering he had pancreatic cancer. Randy was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008, but left a legacy for his students and family. For more information on The Last Lecture, the book or the video, click: here.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life, ... If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.

The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.

If I only had three words of advice, they would be, Tell the Truth. If got three more words, I'd add, all the time.

Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress. When you're pissed off at someone and you're angry at them, you just haven't given them enough time. Just give them a little more time and they almost always will impress you.

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

A lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard.

The questions are always more important than the answers.

It's not how hard you hit. It's how hard you get hit...and keep moving forward.

When we're connected to others, we become better people.

Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I've always believed that if you took one tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out.

When there's an elephant in the room introduce him.

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome.

Don't complain; just work harder.

You can always change you plan, but only if you have one.

One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better,

People are more important than things.

Give yourself permission to dream. Fuel your kids' dreams too. Once in a while, that might even mean letting them stay up past their bedtimes.

Are you a Tigger or an Eyore?

A good apology is like antibiotic, a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound.

I'm sorry. It's my fault. How do I make it right?

Apologies are not pass/fail.

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.

No job is beneath you. You ought to be thrilled you got a job in the mailroom And when you get there, here's what you do: Be really great at sorting mail.

(My coach) knew there was only one way to develop (self esteem): You give children something they can't do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.

Never lose the child like wonder. It's just too important. It's what drives us. Help others.

We've placed a lot of emphasis in this country on the idea of people's rights. That's how it should be, but it makes no sense to talk about rights without also talking about responsibilities.

The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures. The person who knows only success can be more oblivious to all the pitfalls.

I know you're smart. But everyone here is smart. Smart isn't enough. The kind of people I want on my research team are those who will help everyone feel happy to be here.

There are more ways than one to measure profits and losses.

Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.

... I was hugely impressed... was the ultimate example of a man who knew what he didn't know, was perfectly willing to admit it, and didn't want to leave until he understood. That's heroic to me. I wish every grad student had that attitude.

If you have a question, then find the answer.

Complaining does not work as a strategy.

It's not helpful if we spend every day dreading tomorrow ~Jai

Focus on other people, not on yourself.

I don't believe in the no-win scenario

An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar.

Tags:  April 2011  Cancer  Emotional  Inspiration  Intellectual  Occupational  Physical  Quotes  Social  Spiritual 

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