Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There's an App for That! How mHealth Can Transform Your Care.

I'm facinated by how mhealth is slowly transforming health care and talked about this trend along with others earlier this year. (I guess that's par for the course when you're a geek who's passionate about wellness.) So, imagine my delight when I came across this post from Enterprising Business today with this cool infographic. 

I've already downloaded and tested the SkinScan app which seems like an ideal tool for tracking changes in a mole. Let me know what apps you try and what you think of them. 

Three Steps to Protect Children From Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Young people are at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss because they are spending more time plugged into personal listening devices. Even minimal hearing loss can negatively affect social interactions,  development and academic performance. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association urges you to help children develop safe listening habits. This fun infographic shows you the three steps you need to take. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Commitment Continuum

We've been wholly unsuccessful in assessing the stage of change people are in. We included this as part of an assessment to select participants for a weight loss program we ran. Each person was suppose to have been in either the preparation or action stage to be selected. Unfortunately, as the program progressed we learned that most were in the contemplation stage. That is, they were aware that a problem existed and were seriously thinking about overcoming it, but had not made a commitment to take action. I think one of the reasons the participants lost so little weight during the program was because most had not committed to action. 

I recently participated in Dave Scott's Mental Training Tactics and Race Day Strategies of World Champions, a webinar sponsored by Training Peaks. They presented this chart on commitment. I'm wondering if it would be more relevant for us to try assess level of commitment than stage of change for some of our programs. What do you think?

Of course, the real challenge may be in the effectiveness of the assessment tool and not what we're measuring. Something to think about though... 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Use Body Rock to Complement Your Workout Routine -- Guest Post by Kellie Rowden-Racette

And, why our wellness Facebook page is worth having.

For over two years, we've had an Inside Workplace Wellness Facebook Page. We started it as a way to reach the families of our employees and include them in our wellness efforts. We try to post interesting articles, announcements, or pictures of staff on a daily basis. However, the level of engagement is pretty limited. That is, we don't get many comments, shares, or posts by others. Sometimes I find myself thinking, why bother? Recently I received a note from Kellie Rowden-Racette about how she started using Body Rock TV as a result of one of our posts. She made my day and agreed to share her story here.

Kellie after the Warrior Dash last May
When I first interviewed with ASHA I was not only interested in the job (of course) but I was heartened to see that my prospective employer had a robust wellness program that encouraged its employees to get up from their desks and actually be healthy. I've been a fitness instructor since 1993 and working out and being active is undeniably programmed into my routine. Granted my workouts are shells of what they used to be, but I still teach classes, can and will run three or four miles once or twice a week, and try to work out for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Desperate for time, I'm always looking for quick and effective workouts that Get. It. Done. So last week I saw a post on ASHA's Inside Workplace Wellness that highlighted seven workout regimens that have cult followings. All the usual suspects were there: Crossfit (not enough time); Insanity (too much money, still not enough time, and the name kind of scares me); Zumba (fun but only as a once-in-a-while workout); Bikram yoga (LOVE it, but expensive and time consuming). Then I noticed Body Rock TV. "What is that?" I wondered. I clicked on the site and at first thought I was looking at an ... um ... adult site given the photographs of the models in “exercise gear.” Once I got past that, I clicked on one of their video workouts. It was 12 minutes long featuring Lish, a mother of three with an AMAZING body, and her trainer, Sean, who must have the gold medal of jobs for single men. At first I watched with suspicion waiting for Lish the Barbie mom to break out the pink Barbie dumbbells. Imagine my surprise when Barbie mom dropped and cranked out burpees and pushups like a seasoned Marine Corp sargeant. So then I tried it. There were some new twists on some old exercises, some classics, and some entirely new exercises that left me shell shocked, exhausted, and definitely impressed. 

So needless to say, I now follow them on Facebook. Most of their workouts are about 15 minutes long, they come out with a new one every few days (I can't quite tell what the schedule is) and it's been an easy way to complement my occasional runs, weekly classes, and periodic indulgence in Bikram yoga. What's even better is that it's free! Quick, easy, and free -- it's hard to say no to that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New #Co_Health Virtual Wellness Book Club

When Dr. Tuckson recommended some books I had not read at his presentation on Modernizing Health Care last month, I found myself not only wanting to read them, but wanting to discuss them with others. I suggested a CoHealth book club to Fran Melmed and Carol Harnett and they responded with enthusiasm. So, here we go trying to engage and connect people interested in health and wellness in yet another way. The September 19 Tweet Chat will be dedicated to discussing one of these four books. Vote for the book you would like to discuss on the CoHealth LinkedIn page.

CoHealth is a virtual knowledge community for those keen to improve workplace wellness. Wellness managers, communication professionals, wellness providers, physicians, insurers and researchers are all current members, bringing a broad perspective to any topic up for discussion. CoHealth is open to all. Please spread the word and invite others to engage.

Here's the list, mull it over and then click here to vote.

Thinking, Fast and Slow Now that I'm aware of this book, I see it referenced all over the place. It's a TED book and was just recommended by NPR as one of five books to inspire innovation. It also appeared on numerous "best of" lists. The author, Daniel Kahneman, is a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist. "Thinking, Fast and Slow gives deep--and sometimes frightening--insight about what goes on inside our heads: the psychological basis for reactions, judgments, recognition, choices, conclusions, and much more."

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World We've dedicated at least one chat to gamification, so this might be a good choice for those that want to expand on that discussion. "Reality is Broken explains the science behind why games are good for us--why they make us happier, more creative, more resilient, and better able to lead others in world-changing efforts."

The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care I've been listening to this book on Audible and I find myself frequently reaching for my phone to create a note to a spot I want to come back to. It's a thought provoking look at the current challenges in the health care delivery system and the type of revolutionary change that is possible. 

Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (Interactive Technologies) In this book, Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, discusses how technology can be used to change people's attitudes and behavior. This kind of digital influence sounds like it could be controversial, so we should probably all be exploring it. Fran said, BJ Fogg has kindly agreed to be on the CoHealth Checkup radio show and take our questions if we end up selecting his book.

And the winner is... Persuasive Technology by B.J. Fogg. This is an expensive book to buy at $31.17, but you can rent it from Amazon to read on a Kindle for just $7.46. Unfortunately, it's not available on Audible. (I'll include notes about cost and availability the next time we vote to select a book.) Hope everyone enjoys reading Persuasive Technology. Remember the chat is on September 19 at noon. And, BJ Fogg will be a guest on the CoHealth Checkup radio show and take our questions, so make a note of anything you'd like to ask the author.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Don't Let Muscle Cramps Spoil Your Workout

Muscle cramps can spoil a workout whether it's your calves cramping during the run at the end of a triathlon or your feet cramping in Pilates class. I asked Hannah Rowan to share her advice on avoiding them on Food Stripped Bare. Hannah is a UK based nutritional consultant with a passion for whole-food nutrition and evidence-based practice. She came through with this post. 

I tried the green minerals smoothie she recommended last weekend. I definitely favor berry based smoothies, but the green smoothie Hannah suggests is pretty tasty pre-workout and I didn't get any cramps in my calves when I swam after drinking it. Bottoms up!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Power of Online Video from #SHRM12

When we identified the trends that will impact our work this year, we highlighted the use of video. 
Video is becoming increasingly important. Companies save time and money by conducting first interviews via Skype. Meetings and training are held by video conference. Employees look for "how to" videos instead of written instructions. Job Seekers look for "day in the life" videos to get a realistic preview of a jobs.  
We're still very interested in doing some "day in the life" recruitment videos, but we're not garnering the support we'll need yet. This compelling clip was shared by Lindsay Stanton in her session titled "Convergence of Video, Mobile and Social Media in Recruiting and Employer Branding" at the SHRM conference last month. Maybe it will help us make a stronger case.

In the meantime, I think we might make more progress focusing on some DIY video tools for open enrollment.