by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Wellness professionals sometimes languish in their careers because there’s no path leading up and out. To stay in wellness, but get ahead in your career, consider these steps:

  • Volunteer to head teams and take on new projects. People get promoted for a variety of reasons, including timing and visibility. If you get pigeon-holed as just the wellness person you may not be considered for added responsibilities.
  • Determine what roles must be filled in the next 1-3 years. Examine your organization’s human resource needs by interviewing managers, then set out to acquire any skills you’re missing. Don’t hesitate to propose an expanded role if you’re confident you can do the job.
by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Practitioners have for years been so concerned with wellness participation that we’ll do almost anything to keep the numbers climbing. Financial incentives? Yeah, that will work — until it doesn’t. Premium differential? Ooh… that’s a good idea — until it’s not. Lowering the bar on what, exactly, is “participation”? No one will figure out we’re gaming our own system — until they do.

In our never-ending quest to keep participation numbers high, we seem to have lost sight of the real goal of every wellness program on the planet: health and well-being of those we serve. Participation in your wellness programs and services may be less significant than you think, or even (gasp!) irrelevant.

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

The NIH offers these and other suggestions for moderate intensity exercise. While we’ll agree it’s better than driving through a car wash, it also gives the false impression that routine chores are sufficient forms of activity to improve health. They’re not.

Somewhere along the line many health professionals decided suggesting exercise in moderation was as good as recommending vigorous exercise. But moderate exercise somehow came to be defined as gardening and hosing down the car. 

It’s time to stop kidding ourselves. People aren’t going to reach their risk-reduction or cosmetic goals by raking the leaves. 

To truly help people, wellness managers need to step up to this fact: The only way for most Americans to achieve the health benefits of exercise is to do it every day (or darn close to every day) and to do it vigorously. We’re not talking triathlon training, but we are suggesting 20 or more minutes of heart-pounding, face-flushing, breath-stealing exercise — almost every day. Let’s get serious: