| Nov 16, 2012
Guest post by Susan H. Heard, SPHR; vice president, Paradigm Group
In response to continually rising health insurance premiums that no longer respond adequately to tinkering with plan design or payroll deductions, and in the face of the national obesity epidemic (Tennessee being an epicenter), the concept of “wellness” has spawned an industry that delivers biometric screening, social media-based games, health coaching, and rewards for participation in wellness programs that range from company swag to premium discounts for employees. It seems intuitive that curbing unhealthy lifestyle habits will help forestall serious and expensive medical problems and may positively affect self-image, productivity and attendance.
Interesting research by Gallup scientists indicates that the physical wellness we are so focused on these days is just one aspect of health, and that the various elements – which include finances, relationships and job satisfaction – interact and are interdependent. Gaining the highest level of health depends on addressing all of these aspects. The research shows that while about 66% of us are doing well in at least one of the elements, only about 7% are thriving in all. That has me wondering if it is humanly possible to thrive in all. As an analogy, I’ve noticed that when I’m sticking to a healthy diet, working out faithfully, and keeping my closet tidy, I neglect to balance my checkbook. When my budget is in good shape, I've answered all my emails, and my car is staying fairly clean, I’m not getting to the gym as often.
As a member of the “you-can-have-it-all” generation of women, I’ve concluded that we really can have it all - just not necessarily all at the same time. Maybe the path to true health – not to mention serenity – is accepting that we really can thrive in all facets of wellness.
Susan Heard is one of five Nashville Area Chamber members answering your business questions in the Chamber's Ask the Expert program. Submit a question here.
Paradigm Group has been a Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce member since 1997.