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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Encourage Employees to Do Something Healthy Each Day

Click to hear the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

You may have heard me say this before, but it is worth repeating. Companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area suffer an estimated $17 billion loss in productivity each year due to employee health problems. That is a huge impact.

Personal health behaviors influence 50 to 70 percent of an individual’s health, yet we spend only 4 percent of our health dollars to impact behaviors. Employers can have a major influence on their employees’ personal behaviors, and that could make an impact on improving this situation.

One approach that has been proven to be effective is to encourage employees to engage in one simple, healthy activity each day. It can be as simple as flexing your feet while sitting at your desk, or taking one minute for a breathing exercise.

Research has shown that such simple activities can have a measureable impact on improving a person’s overall well-being. People with higher well-being are healthier, happier, contribute more to their communities and jobs, and have lower healthcare costs.

Texas Health will soon promote an online tool that will help employers encourage and support their employees to engage in one easy, healthy activity each day. Listen for more information coming in February.

For our faith-based health system — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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