Evelyn Sikorski is Manager of EFAP and Health Management at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Evelyn Sikorski is Manager of EFAP and Health Management at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

This is the first in a series of blog posts about wellness from the UVM Medical Center’s Employee Wellness Program. The next blog post will focus on the five dimensions of wellness: physical, social, financial, community, and career.

Wellness is more than a just buzzword in today’s workplace. It’s a way of improving the health of an organization – and of a community. Healthy, happy employees and co-workers are more likely to be productive and collaborative. We all want that!

So it’s logical that encouraging employees to eat healthily, be more active, get out into the fresh air, and take proper breaks will ultimately improve our overall engagement and our feelings about our work and the people with whom we work. Overall, choosing healthy behaviors contributes to a positive outlook, both at home and at work. Wellness is about balance and taking care of ourselves to promote and inspire health in the people we care for in our lives. That’s the role of wellness at work!

As the UVM Medical Center launches its new Employee Wellness Engagement Program to help employees take charge of their own health, I wanted to share some important wellness information with you.

We will ask employees to participate in a voluntary biometric screening, health coaching, and online health assessment.  Through this they will get to “know their numbers.” Here’s why that’s so important.

Know Your Numbers

A biometric screening is the first step in a comprehensive health engagement program like the one we’re launching at the UVM Medical Center. It’s also the first step for you to figure out your health status. These non-fasting screenings provide a snap shot on current and potential health issues. When combined with doing a Health Risk Assessment, you get reliable information about your risk for chronic, but preventable, diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.

There is a system of “numbers” we can use to guide us to where we need to make improvements in our lifestyle choices to improve our numbers. By knowing your numbers, you can take immediate action to make positive, small life style changes. Some of the numbers that are important for you to know are:

In order to perform the Cholesterol and Glucose testing, a quick finger stick is performed. You inherit some risks through your genetics; however, the majority of chronic disease risk is in the lifestyle we lead. Chronic disease is specifically linked to smoking, poor nutrition, stress, and an inactive lifestyle. Think about the everyday choices you make – you can change these, and change your health.

Here are a few ideas to get started on “knowing your numbers”:

So, what are your numbers? I invite you to post a comment about how you have made personal changes to improve your health.

Evelyn Sikorski is Manager of EFAP and Health Management at the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

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