Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Arizona State Wellness Initiatives Facing Budget Restrictions

Arizona has developed a Wellness Home Page through their government benefits office.

Although the State has launched a new link to the Mayo Clinic Embody Health Portal which supplies information to help employees better manage health conditions such as asthma, headaches, high blood pressure and diabetes, other on site programs have been cut do to severe budget restrictions. These programs include on site health screenings, educational classes, fitness classes, massage and other health related services. This is unfortunate since work site wellness programs have demonstrated the potential to save millions of dollars in direct costs for every dollar invested. A comprehensive wellness program must include a physical presence to help incentivize employees to achieve healthier goals. Websites alone will raise awareness but may not change behaviors. There are many websites available with health information.

The Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition (CPAN) at the University of Arizona has a great website devoted to translating research into effective community health and wellness information for children, adolescents, and men and women of all ages.

Let's hope Arizona takes these on site programs off the "hold" list pending analysis of the money that could be saved when implemented correctly.

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