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The Struggle Is Real: Controlling Diabetes With Your Wellness Program

 

If your workplace is struggling to get a handle on chronic health conditions, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic condition—and four out of 10 have two or more.

Diabetes alone affects more than 114 million Americans—30 million with diabetes and 84 million with prediabetes—and accounts for an estimated $327 billion (with a “B”) in economic costs each year. Those are scary numbers. But with more wellness providers opting to include a condition management component in their programs, employers are more poised than ever to take action.

As we enter American Diabetes Month, it’s important to take note of how your workplace wellness program’s condition management program can help employees proactively manage their health and keep diabetes at bay.

Identify Conditions

Managing a health condition like diabetes can be difficult. But it’s downright impossible if you don’t even know you have it. Yet, according to a study by the CDC, up to 7.2 million Americans are living with undiagnosed diabetes and millions more with prediabetes. That’s why it’s so important to encourage employees to participate in screenings so they can identify risks and conditions early.

Share the Wealth (Of Knowledge)

Every wellness program worth its salt includes resources and activities to help employees build healthier habits. But condition management programs go further, providing specific actions employees can take to proactively manage chronic conditions. These programs go step by step, reducing ambiguity and providing a clear roadmap.

Add a Personal Touch

Identifying risks and conditions as well as learning what you can do about them is a great place to start. But sometimes a little encouragement and advice are needed. That’s where health coaches can make all the difference. By providing personal guidance and accountability, health coaches can help employees make healthier day-to-day decisions and keep them focused on managing their conditions.

Addressing costly medical conditions like diabetes should be a top priority for any organization looking to see ROI on their wellness dollars. Condition management programs provide a unique opportunity for employers to move beyond the basics and confront health conditions head-on. If you are not currently implementing a condition management program in your wellness initiatives, perhaps now is a good time to reconsider.

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