No matter what you do, your health is incredibly important and care should be taken to maintain it. The rising trend of lifestyle and chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, blood pressure and other medical conditions has taught us that prevention is the only key to maintaining a healthy and happy, long life. To combat disease and stay mentally and physically fit, wellness programs are being conducted to curb medical costs and offer simple ways to prevent medical conditions early on especially in high risk groups.
Wellness programs are conducted with an intention to improve overall health and fitness and include activities such as medical education, disease screenings, weight management methods etc. These programs can be held anywhere, either at your workplace, housing complex or even at your local community centers. They are primarily held to improve health outcomes on a larger scale and educate a wider audience. Wellness programs are being conducted on a larger scale these days due to increasing awareness and participation of the population at large.
Recent studies show that wellness programs are an effective means of reducing health expenses and improving the health of public on a larger scale. Simplicity of design of the programs and effective implementation can determine the success of wellness programs. These programs are good initiatives to make more and more people aware of their health and encourage them to take consciously take efforts to stay fit. Wellness programs are also held for individual medical conditions such as for heart diseases, diabetes, or for a specific age group such for the elderly, or pediatric age group, etc.
BENEFITS OF WELLNESS PROGRAMS IN PREVENTION OF DISEASE
1. Education can improve health status by creating an understanding of varied diseases. People are taught ways to take specific precautions and prevent certain conditions. Improving one’s lifestyle and making certain simple modifications in the routine schedule can work wonders for the health.
2. Cut down of health related expenses such as fees, medicine and other related expenditure. This seems very appropriate given the ever increasing costs of healthcare. These programs help prevent medical conditions and reduce costs on medical insurance and hospital admissions for preventable conditions.
3. These programs not only help you to take care of your health, but help you improve our self-esteem and confidence. A person who is fit, is always more productive, confident and generally happier.
4. Wellness programs offer immunizations, disease screenings and other tests either free or at reduced costs.
5. As these programs focus on preventing diseases ,it can help in making happier and healthier homes, thereby improving health of the community. This also helps in increasing productivity and improves the economy of the country overall.
6. Wellness programs help in making healthy options at affordable choices as they provide people with easy to understand information, empowering them to take the right steps in prevention of disease, and not fall prey to commercialism in foods, etc.
7. Health programs designed for children can prevent disease and encourage healthy eating habits and lifestyle at a very early age, when foundations are laid for a lifetime and for the future generations. These programs encourage physical activity and ways to help battle obesity, one of the leading problems in today’s generation.
8. These programs have well trained staff which help eradicate health related disparities.
9. Health of an individual is equivalent to health of a community which in turn is equal to a healthy country. These wellness programs not only help in making healthy choices in prevention of disease, but also help in keeping the country healthy by and large.
Improving health policies and combining them with wellness programs are key tools in maintaining public health today. Strategies should be adopted on focusing on preventive medicine and improving health care system in general. Wellness programs should be implemented in such a way that maximum participation occurs and a positive outcome results. It should be noted that this not improves the nation’s health care system, but also improves economy and results in happier and healthier families.
Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD
· Goetzel RZ, Ozminkowski RJ. The health and cost benefits of work site health-promotion programs. Annu Rev Public Health 2008;29:303–23.
· Burton WN, Chen CY, Conti DJ, Schultz AB, Edington DW. The association between health risk change and presenteeism change. J Occup Environ Med 2006;48(3):252–63.
· Preston C, Alexander M. Medicare coverage of preventive care services. JAMA 2010;304(22):2484.