On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 – Fitness Together-North Andover and the American Diabetes Association raised awareness on the importance of health and wellness to the employees at Parlex Inc. in Methuen, Ma.
One of the biggest fitness challenges working people face is in simply making the time to fit in the workouts. We tell ourselves our jobs just take up too much time to leave room for exercise, so we let it go year after year as the pounds pile on and our health diminishes. On top of that, job stress often leads to hypertension, overeating, depression and diabetes. So when you stop and think about it, doesn’t it makes more sense to invest time and money in maintaining or improving wellness before it turns into chronic illness? Here are a few figures if you need convincing:
- Adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15 to 30 percent, while childhood obesity rates have more than tripled.” [i]
- Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages 8.3 percent of the U.S. population [ii]
- According to the UnitedHealth Group’s Center for Health Reform and Modernization “More than half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by the year 2020, at a cumulative cost of $3.35 trillion unless something drastically changes with U.S. health trends.” [iii]
In the United States Diabetes treatment results in direct medical costs of $116 billion. The individual diagnosed with diabetes can expect to have medical expenses 2.3 times higher than for the average individual without diabetes. The indirect costs, factoring in disability, work lost and premature mortality are $58 billion.[iv] In economic terms, the burden associated with disability, loss of life and related complication affects not just the person with the illness, but employers, fellow workers and family members.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes, stress and hypertension can be controlled and managed through diet, exercise, and losing excess weight.
This is the message brought to workers at Parlex Inc. in Methuen by Maureen Sullivan, owner of Fitness Together in North Andover, and her manager, Adam Genetti, along with Sara Dacey of the American Diabetes Association. Over the course of three lunch shifts Adam spoke with around 40 employees about the positive impact improved fitness can have on quality of life, whether it’s at home or at work. They also shared information about the Fitness Together Type 2 diabetes program and strategies for preventing or managing the disease as well as other illnesses impacted by obesity and inactivity.
Parlex Human Resources Administrator, Carolyn Fritchy says, “Even if the presentation impacted at least one employee, that’s potentially saving one life.” Fritchy also says she’s hoping to get at least 3 test participants to show that “that exercise and changing your dietary habits can certainly impact your health and save the company money.”
As more companies in the United States begin connecting the dots between wellness and productivity, improvements in presentee-ism and the bottom line will yield positive results on the population and the economy.
If your company is interested in having the ADA and Fitness Together representatives speak to your employees on the importance of wellness, please contact Martha Leta at 508-846-6173 or email marthaletaFT@aol.com
If your company would like more information on the Fitness Together Type 2 diabetes wellness program, please contact Steve Lichtman directly at 781-572-1002 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org If your company is in the Merrimack Valley area, you can contact Maureen Sullivan or Adam Genetti directly at 978-659-0047 or email at email@example.com. In Rhode Island contact Matt Gagliano at 401-529-8244 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org