Each January, many of us resolve to do things differently in the coming new year and make better decisions moving forward. One of the most common resolutions is taking better care of our health and wellness. I believe it is something we all want to achieve. And yet, why does it seem so difficult? A quick internet search of workout facilities in Tazewell County yields nearly 30 different locations, so access is not the issue. In addition, many of us have workout equipment in our homes that give us all the convenience we would ever need.
In today’s world, health and wellness encompass so much more than just physical fitness. A more holistic approach to our overall wellbeing is key to feeling satisfaction and contentment with life. While being “in shape” physically is important, so is being “in shape” emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually.
At Tazewell County, we care about our employees and want to see them thrive. We host a health fair each October that allows employees to get a health assessment that can be used as a baseline for better health moving forward. The health fair looks at more than just physical health; it also looks at the levels of stress in your life, your finances, the amount of sleep you get each night, and more.
Our employees are asked to complete a comprehensive survey looking at a variety of health and wellness issues. These survey results, combined with their personal biometric results (blood pressure, cholesterol, labs, etc.) give a health score from 1 to 100. With this data, individual employees can make informed choices about their health. They can look at last year’s score and see how their overall health is progressing.
The county also gets aggregate, anonymized results to see where we can provide more resources and help for our people. If diabetes is growing among our employees, we can offer more education on nutrition and exercise. If financial stress is trending up, we can offer online courses in money management.
The county also provides discounts on health premiums to employees who agree to meet with healthcare counselors, who can give support and helpful advice on how to overcome potentially devastating health issues. They are not mandatory, but are offered to help people stay the course when the journey seems difficult. Simple things like taking a walk over lunch, getting your flu shot or completing a smoking cessation course can all lead to positive health outcomes.
With quality of life as our goal, we can make health choices that allow us to spend time with those we love and do the things we enjoy most. It is not always easy, but in Tazewell County, we want to provide those resources to our employees. I will end with an old Irish proverb: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” PM