In 2008, I received my first free health checkup as an employee of Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. My results weren’t great, but they weren’t horrible either. They were at the high end of healthy, and they changed between 2008 and 2009: each one got a little worse, by just a point or two. However, the trend across the board was unmistakable. It seemed a problem might be developing. My experience at D&B proved to me that Employee Wellness Programs work. Read the following, and let me know if you agree.
How The Employee Wellness Program Worked On Me
The terms of the program required a standard metabolic blood test, which measured five different things like Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Every time I got the annual test, the Employee Wellness Program paid me $250 for doing so. Early on, the program required me to enter my data into a secure user interface that enabled me to see my results year over year.
This information came at a time when I had other influences in play:
- A doctor suggested maybe I should lose some weight.
- My mother and I set a challenge to lose some weight.
- My mom sent me a book that discussed healthy dietary tradeoffs.
- I noticed a trend of grandparents who died after series of disabling strokes or sudden, fatal heart attacks.
But the metabolic numbers, and the ability to compare them year over year, made it personal to me in a way nothing else could. The evidence was real and irrefutable.
What Happened Next
I was inspired to begin a personal quest that ultimately led to weight loss of 50 pounds, total change of eating habits, and invention of myself as an adult athlete.
My third test, in 2010, after I’d begun exercising and losing weight, definitely changed the trend, but the numbers were somewhat erratic. There was now no clear trend across the data set. After that, the numbers have been uniformly good.
Nurses now sometimes gasp when they see my resting heart rate of 52, and a doctor has said I have triglycerides “some people would kill for” (in the 50 range). Waiters and friends remark at the healthfulness of my diet.
Why This Is Remarkable
Like many, I’m just a regular guy who wasn’t much of an athlete through childhood or all the way through college. As a working adult, I was a sedentary, heavy drinking, and diet-unconscious office employee for 15 years before my bell was rung.
My nuclear family was no model for healthy eating or enlightened living: we’re just a middle class family from suburban San Francisco. My grandparents lived on subsistence farms, worked in canneries, sawmills, in military service, and construction. Previous generations were not highly educated or particularly well-informed about healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Like other families, we’ve survived the slow transition of this country to an advertising-driven culture of convenience and unhealthy eating. Like other families, we’re now seeing the health toll of overweight, diabetes, poor fitness, too many carbs, and “healthcare” and pharmacology instead of healthy eating and healthy living.
Being able to see the numeric trend in my health status may be the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and being paid to do it made it even sweeter!
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned I have the ability to make positive changes in my life and the lives of others. I’ve also learned I can create my own trend, despite the test results, or the environment, or the alternative beliefs of others.
You can too.
A shift will occur, as you and I take small steps to make an incremental shift in our thinking and behavior, and in the thinking and behavior of our coworkers, friends, and families.
Here’s How Much I Believe Employee Wellness Programs Work
I urge you to take part in your company’s Employee Wellness Program. Go for annual (or more frequent) metabolic tests. Compare the numbers between tests, and make appropriate lifestyle choices based on them.
Also, I urge you to advocate creation of an Employee Wellness Program at your workplace, if one doesn’t exist. You’ve almost certainly heard or read that 2/3 of the population of this country is overweight or obese, and maybe you’ve even experienced the healthcare costs and negative lifestyle impact this situation and our chronic disease is causing.
My audience is anyone who works in, on, or owns a business, and has a body
Intention For This Work
My intention is to Inform and Persuade my audience. After hearing my speech, my audience will be moved to take part in their company’s Employee Wellness Program. If such a program isn’t offered by their company, they’ll be moved to create a similar program.
Consider And Act
- What can you do to make a difference in your own life and the lives of those nearest you? What will you do?
- Share your advice, information, referrals, or story below.
- Contact me directly below.
- Schedule a metabolic test now with InsideTracker, and get a discount when you do!
Also published on Medium.