University of Colorado leaders set an ambitious goal of at least 30 percent employee participation in the first year of the Be Colorado health assessment. So far, only about 12 percent of the workforce has taken part, but two days remain.
Some employees have asked: Why a health assessment? Why today? What’s in it for me?
The short answer is that taking the health assessment is the critical first step for how we can all work together to enhance the culture of health at the university and help mitigate the rising costs of health care.
Why a health assessment?
For more than 25 years, D.W. Edington, Ph.D., director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, has been studying the relationships among individual health behaviors, future health care use and costs for both individuals and organizations. He has concluded that employers need to treat health as a serious economic strategy to head off health insurance cost increases for employees and themselves.
Edington has demonstrated that organizations’ wellness programs can “bend the trend” in terms of ever-increasing health care costs. One of the critical components of these successful worksite wellness programs is to offer a health assessment, such as the one being offered this month by the Be Colorado wellness program. Edington emphasizes that success is related to high participation.
“If you want to have confidence in your data and ultimately in your program, ideally participation rates should be around 90 percent,” he says. An article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2008;50:863–872) further supports this idea: “Efforts that are successful at increasing HRA participation rates will engage more individuals who otherwise would not have participated in health promotion activities and produce reports that are more representative of the whole employee population.”
Friday, Oct. 28, is the last day to take the SUCCEED health assessment and have it count toward the campus competition and the iPad 2 drawing. But more importantly, knowing your current health state is the first step in becoming the healthiest you.
What’s in it for me?
Other than the opportunity to win an iPad 2 or a $50 REI gift card, you have the chance to have a direct impact on your personal wellness, and to help mitigate the rising cost of health care for yourself and the university community.
Please take 20 minutes to complete the confidential Be Colorado health assessment. Go to www.becolorado.org. Be assured that no personally identifiable data will be released to the university.
This is only the first step in the Be Colorado wellness journey, so be sure to watch for more events, more information and more ways to participate.