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Weight, Diet, Diabetes Biggest Health Challenges for APS Employees
Aggregate data from personal health profiles found that two-thirds of employees are overweight, more than half don’t eat right and half are at risk of developing diabetes.
January 26, 2012
You can also contact Employee Wellness Coordinator Kathy Chavez at email@example.com.
Weight, diet and diabetes are the biggest health challenges facing APS employees, according to the results of an online survey completed recently in an effort to improve the overall health of employees and to keep insurance costs down.
More than 9,500 employees and spouses/domestic partners insured through APS took the Personal Health Profile. Participation was voluntary, but those who completed the health assessment by the Nov. 11 deadline were able to keep their health care premiums from increasing in 2012.
The 20-30 minute health profile assessed 16 different health areas including weight, nutrition, exercise, cardiovascular health, diabetes, tobacco use, cancer, personal safety, musculoskeletal risk, stress, depression and alcohol use.
Nearly two thirds of participants were women, and more than half of both the women and men who took the survey were between the ages of 40 and 59.
Health profile results are strictly confidential and protected by federal privacy laws; however, APS Employee Benefits did receive aggregate data that identifies key risk areas among employees. This information will be used to develop an employee wellness program.
Based on national standards set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the APS data shows that:
- Nearly half of those who participated are at risk of developing diabetes.
- Weight is a risk factor for nearly two thirds of participants with 35 percent considered overweight and 26 percent considered obese based on their Body Mass Index (BMI).
- More than half the participants don’t eat a healthy diet.
- More than a fourth are at risk for heart disease.
- Nearly a fourth don’t exercise enough.
- Tobacco use was a risky behavior for about one in five employees and spouses who took the survey.
- About a fourth of participants aren't getting enough exercise and are at risk of cardiovascular health problems.
- Stress, depression and alcohol use were problems for about 15 percent of participants.
The data provided in a report by WellCall Inc., the wellness provider that conducted the survey, sheds light on areas of concern and encourages employees to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“By targeting the areas of greatest risk, behavior change programs can be implemented to help promote positive behavior,” the report concludes. “This may help reduce absenteeism and lower health risks.”
APS is taking this advice to heart. Employee Wellness coordinator Kathy Chavez, a registered and licensed dietician, is working in partnership with health care providers, businesses and community resources on several initiatives to help improve employee health.
Upcoming initiatives include:
- Cancer prevention awareness
- Project Heart Start New Mexico to teach the new CPR
- Better eating and nutrition activities including cooking demonstrations
- Humor and stress awareness
- Blood pressure testing
- Physical fitness and sports activities
- Home safety tips
- Men’s health focus
- UV safety
- Cholesterol testing
- Yoga awareness
- Health literacy
- Health fair
- Depression and health screenings
- Diabetes awareness
- Smoking cessation help