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The University of Texas System Wellness Symposium March 19 – 20, 2007. Dan Stewart Assistant Vice Chancellor Employee Benefits and Services. Panel Discussion Questions. Why are wellness programs important? What are the challenges? What has been done? What have we learned?

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The University of Texas SystemWellness SymposiumMarch 19 – 20, 2007

Dan Stewart

Assistant Vice Chancellor Employee Benefits and Services


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Panel Discussion Questions

  • Why are wellness programs important?

  • What are the challenges?

  • What has been done?

  • What have we learned?

  • What does the future hold?


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Why Are Wellness Programs Important?

Millions of Americans suffer from illness that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity.

  • 13.5 million people have coronary heart disease.

  • 1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year.

  • 8 million people have adult-onset (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.

  • 95,000 people are newly diagnosed with colon cancer each year.

  • 250,000 people suffer from hip fractures each year.

  • 50 million people have high blood pressure.

  • Over 60 million people (a third of the population) are overweight.

    Source: U.S. Surgeon General

    “Physical Activity and Health”


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Why Are Wellness Programs Important?

  • 15% of U.S. adults engage in regular, “vigorous” physical activity

  • 22% engage in regular, “sustained” physical activity

  • 25% report no physical activity at all

  • Only about 50% of our young adults regularly participate in “vigorous” physical activity

    Source: U.S. Surgeon General

    “Physical Activity and Health”


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Why Are Wellness Programs Important?

Management Perspective

  • Decreased absenteeism

  • Reduced medical claims costs

  • Improved productivity

  • Improved recruitment and retention

    Employee Perspective

  • Improved health

  • Extended quality of life and longevity

  • Improved perception of employer


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What are the Challenges?

  • ROI

  • Federal and State Laws

  • Facility Use and Modification

  • Commitment of Leadership


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What Has Been Done?

  • Increase Awareness of Wellness Issues

  • Support of Health Management

  • Promote Healthy Work Environment


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What Have We Learned?

Wellness programs which include regular sustained exercise have the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.

  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

  • Reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

  • Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.

  • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.

  • Helps control weight.

  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.

  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.

  • Promotes psychological well-being.

    Source: National Center for Chronic

    Disease and Health Promotion


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What Does the Future Hold?

Do Nothing

  • Health Maladies Worsen

  • Healthcare Costs Beyond Comprehension

  • Organizations’ Missions and Goals Altered


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What Does the Future Hold?

Create Wellness Programs

  • Health and Quality of Life Improve

  • Healthcare Costs More Manageable

  • Organizations’ Missions and Goals are Achievable


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