I Can Walk Away From This Promo Message

I receive press releases — lots and lots of press releases. Here’s one that gained attention, not for its message but its absurdity.

Title: Which is Worse for Your Health? Cigarettes or Office Chairs?
NBC News reports that new research shows the ill effects of prolonged sitting is commensurate with similar health afflictions found among cigarette smokers.
Dr. David Coven, a cardiologist at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital in New York, states in the report that several new studies show prolonged sitting is linked directly to many of the same diseases contracted by smokers including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and premature mortality. The report warned that the odds of contracting any of these diseases increased with the amount of time spent sitting during the day.
“We have been sounding the alarm bells about the dangers of sedentary lifestyles for the past two years and appreciate that NBC’s coverage will add to our attempts to build a movement revolution in the United States,” stated TrekDesk CEO Steve Bordley. “America’s health is at risk as never before yet few understand the severe health impact of sitting at a desk all day.”

I’m all for wellness (we’ve got the Wellness Council of Indiana under the Chamber umbrella now, we’re putting the final touches on the wellness issue of BizVoice and the Chamber is preparing for the annual Indiana Employee Health and Wellness Summit). But really: Comparing the impacts of working at a desk to smoking to sell "walking treadmills?" The product might be worthwhile, but the message to get us to pay attention leaves much to be desired.

Jumping on the Wellness Wagon

I read a recent national study that noted the quantity of wellness programs for employers is not the problem; it’s the quality that’s lacking.

Why are the initiatives not effective in some cases?

  • Not customizing the program to your workplace culture
  • A lack of commitment from senior leadership
  • Ineffective communication about elements of the wellness effort

The research is here; part of the solution can come from attending the Indiana Employee Health and Wellness Summit on September 1 at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

Gov. Mitch Daniels will be there to provide a dynamic opening; state and national experts will deliver keynote and luncheon addresses; and different education tracks will help show you how to successfully implement and improve your wellness programs. The bottom line: enhance your employees’ health and your organization’s bottom line.

Check out the details. A small investment could pay big dividends.