The Well-Being Journal

Workforce Well-Being: Blue Collar vs White Collar

Jennifer Rudloff

John Harris, Chief Well-Being Officer at Healthways, talks about our findings on well-being as they relates to blue collar and white collar workers. In this video, you'll learn more about the challenges impacting the well-being of your people and will gain insights into how to better engage your population based on their needs.

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Topics: Well-Being John Harris Workplace Well-Being Engagement Business Performance Wellness Life Evaluation Healthways Wellness Program

Brazil's Opportunity for Action

Jennifer Rudloff

A couple of weeks ago I jumped on a plane and woke up in a different hemisphere – to be more precise, Sao Paulo, Brazil. This was my second visit, and I’m already looking forward to returning again in October. I love the people, the culture, the sense of purpose, and the food (it’s ohh so delicious).

While in Brazil, I made my rounds to several companies including a client, and a government supported organization. My week culminated with a speaking engagement at Congresso Abramge, the Brazilian equivalent of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). While touring and talking with people I began to draw comparisons between Brazil and the US. When comparing the well-being needs of Brazilian people, businesses, and private health plans the one thing that really stood out to me was that their well-being needs are very similar to ours in the US.

Given that the health/wellness status of the Brazilian population is not yet as dire as ours in the U.S., Brazil is behind us in creating solutions. It is often difficult to recognize a need in its early stages. But Brazilian leaders are showing signs that they recognize the need and are searching for the same proof of concept for well-being solutions that we were in the U.S. a few years back. And they’re just in time. While Brazil trails the U.S. in obesity and other lifestyle risks, obesity is on the rise and lifestyle behaviors are getting worse. As a result of this, healthcare costs are rising (regardless of who the payer is). But we know that healthcare isn’t the only area where costs will rise. Research shows that poor health and well-being costs companies more than just healthcare spend; it impacts presenteeism and productivity, and may be robbing Brazilian businesses of vital performance even now.

The Brazilians are smart, strategic, and business savvy people and I expect they’ll take aggressive action when the time comes. I would encourage them not to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and wait until they have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel before acting.

So if there is a key takeaway from my trip it’s that Brazil has the opportunity to do what the U.S. failed to do 25 years ago, that is, act before the problem becomes so large it is hard to tackle. As I made my rounds to various organizations in Brazil, I repeatedly heard the sentiment that they were ready for the challenge, but it will take will, fortitude, and resolve. Fortunately, they don’t have to find their path blindly. Since the U.S. has gone before Brazil, we can offer encouragement, insights and wisdom.

In October, I am going back to Brazil to speak at the Encontros en Suade Corporativa, a series of conferences that address various areas of well-being. The significant number of conferences in Brazil indicate a hunger for learning more about well-being, applying it in business settings, and reaping the benefits of healthier people, lower costs, and better business performance. This gives me hope that Brazilian companies will come in ahead of the curve and might get a handle on this much earlier in the game than we did in the U.S.

I wish the Brazilians much success, and hope to be part of their mission and achievement. I think their opportunity is there for the taking.

Topics: Well-Being John Harris Workplace Well-Being Health Prevention Wellness Brazil Healthways

With Well-Being, Experience Counts: Americans 65+ are Thriving

Jennifer Rudloff

Want to reduce the sadness, stress, and worry in your lives? Listen to your elders, they seem to have the keys to improved well-being.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® (WBI), Americans over the age of 65 consistently achieve higher well-being scores than other age groups. They’re scoring higher than their younger counterparts on a number of metrics; perhaps most notably is their emotional health. More than any other age group, Americans over the age of 65 feel they are learning or doing interesting things every day, and feel that they’re treated with respect. Additionally they experience less sadness, stress, and worry daily.

You might ask, why? Should we credit their experience and more realistic expectations? Have they more courage to follow their passions while others may be following the paycheck? Or do they simply find more joy in each day? Ben Leedle, President and CEO of Healthways talks about lessons learned from the well-being of an aging population and findings from the WBI in an article recently published in USA Today.

For a deeper dive on the Well-Being Index and related findings listen to Joy Cardin’s interview with John Harris on Wisconsin Public Radio. John talks about findings from the Well-Being Index and related demographics, discusses lessons for better living, and explains the impact well-being has on our nation.



The podcast is also available for download here.

Topics: Well-Being In the News Ben Leedle John Harris Aging Well-Being Index USA Today Healthways Keys to Well-Being Elders