ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Add your Article

Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work

(HealthDay News) -- Workplace wellness programs are an effective way to reduce major risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, says a new American Heart Association policy statement.

Each year, heart disease costs the United States about $304.6 billion, the association says. Companies spend 25 to 30 percent of their annual medical costs on employees with significant health risks, mainly because of their increased likelihood of experiencing heart disease and stroke, it says.

But the financial burden also falls on workers, it says, in the form of higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles, reduction or elimination of coverage and trade-offs between insurance benefits and wage or salary increases.

"Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a [workplace wellness] program," the statement's lead author, Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release from the heart association.

"Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee's total health," she said. "An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict."

More than 130 million Americans are employed, according to the association, which means that workplace wellness programs have the potential to reach a sizable population.

"We are making great strides in workplace wellness, but we also know that half of employees don't have access to these programs, mainly because they work in small companies or for employers that have a small number of employees at multiple sites," Carnethon said. "We are hoping this paper shows employers large and small the benefits these programs may provide to both their employees and their bottom line."

Keys to a successful program, according to the policy statement, include:

* Smoking/tobacco cessation and prevention
* Regular physical activity
* Stress management/reduction
* Early detection/screening
* Nutrition education and promotion
* Weight management
* Disease management
* Cardiovascular disease education, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) training
* Work environment changes that encourage healthy behaviors and promote occupational health and safety

The policy statement was published Sept 30 in Circulation.

SOURCES: American Heart Association, news release, Sept. 30, 2009