What Does The US Budget Crisis And Chronic Disease Have In Common?

October 09, 2013

congressThis is not a political blog post.  This is a post about real-world problems that have readily available solutions.

A particularly nasty partisan political disease has infected the American government.  Regardless of one’s political beliefs, there is widespread agreement that the current budget crisis is solvable and politicians must work together to find the cure.  A solution can be achieved simply, or maybe not so simply, by agreeing on which path to take.

Reducing the proliferation and costs related to chronic diseases may not be an easy problem to solve, but like the budget crisis, solutions to this problem exist.  According to the CDC, 75% of America’s healthcare dollars are spent on the treatment of chronic diseases.  “Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S.”  As the CDC notes, chronic diseases are among the most preventable health problems, in other words, this is a problem we can solve.

Wellable believes that employee wellness programs are essential to solving the chronic disease problem.  The average American spends two thirds of his or her waking life at work and employers can use this time-intensive relationship to help promote healthy employee behavior.  The workplace can be used to facilitate team-based health competitions or converted into a lunchtime yoga studio.  Effective corporate wellness programs lead to healthy behaviors, which can decrease the likelihood of chronic diseases and their associated healthcare costs.  If we are serious about solving the chronic disease problem, than employee wellness can no longer be a nice-to-have, it needs to be a must-have for all American companies.

There are many political and health problems that can’t be solved, some because of lack of resources, others because of limited knowledge.  The budget and chronic disease crises are two problems that can be solved, and for this reason alone, Team Wellable is optimistic.

For more on the CDC and chronic disease: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm

Topics: Wellness

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