Prevention And The Growing Epidemic Of Chronic Health Diseases And Conditions

1814 Words8 Pages
Many employers offer worksite wellness programs to combat the growing epidemic of chronic health diseases and conditions. These programs were developed to provide a different approach to promoting healthy lifestyles. The preventive approach aims to reduce healthcare cost by lowering the amount of claims filed and paid out. The implementation of wellness programs has increased significantly and now the question is whether or not these programs are truly effective. Background Workplace wellness is defined as any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes (Workplace Wellness, 2014). Worksite wellness programs began in the eighties across the United States and other countries to curtail the increase of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among the population. CVD is a condition that occurs when cholesterol builds up in the arteries restricting blood flow to the heart. CVD can lead to a heart attack if left untreated. Risk factors associated with CVD include high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obesity, smoking, stress, diabetes and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Decreasing these risk factors can significantly lower chances of developing a heart attack. Heart disease was the leading cause of death in the eighties and is still the leading cause of death today for both men and women. The CDC reports that about 1 in every 4 Americans die each year from heart disease with an
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