Navigation Links
Companies Can Motivate Families to Live Healthier
Date:10/4/2010

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A small cash incentive from an employer might be enough to prompt healthy lifestyle changes in families, new research sUggests.

IBM offered its employees $150 to participate in a 12-week program where they were given a list of health-promoting activities to choose from -- such as adding more vegetables to the family diet, exercising more as a family and reducing family TV and computer time -- and found that more than 50 percent of the employees who chose to participate in the project completed the program.

"I think this program was likely successful because once these activities were pointed out to the employees, they probably felt like it was a no-brainer. They could make their families healthier and receive the incentive," said study senior author Dee Edington, director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center in Ann Arbor.

"Employers spend a lot of time thinking about how to get their employees healthy, and while the employee is an important factor, what about the family? When you have a sick child, you also have a sick employee. So, if you're going to have a healthy culture, you need to think about having healthy families as well," he said.

Results of the study were released online Oct. 4 and are scheduled to appear in the November issue of Pediatrics.

In the United States, IBM has more than 40,000 employees, and those employees have more than 80,000 children insured by IBM's health insurance plans. In 2008, the company offered its U.S. employees with children between the ages of 2 and 18 a chance to participate in the "Children's Health Rebate" program.

More than 22,000 employees enrolled in the program. It was designed to get families to choose certain family-focused activities to do for 12 weeks. There were four main areas of concentration, including: healthy family meal engagement, consistent healthy eating, collaborative physical activity and positive parental role-modeling.

Families were asked to select between 3 and 10 action goals to strive for during the 12-week program. Goals might be to limit eating fast food just once per week, to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, to walk children to school at least once a week and to involve children in meal preparation at least once a week, according to the study.

The families were given a tracking sheet and asked to record how they did with meeting their goals.

"Families sat down together, and children were part of the decision-making on goals," said study co-author Chifung Lu, a senior analyst at the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center. "Filling out the tracking inventory became a family project."

More than 11,000 -- 52.2 percent of those enrolled -- employees completed the program. Those that finished it reported increased physical activity, reduced time spent on electronic entertainment and more healthy family meals.

The study found that family physical activity done more than three times per week went up 17.1 percentage points during the program, while eating healthy dinners five or more times a week went up by 11.8 percentage points. Among children, spending less than an hour a day in front of the TV or doing video games went up 8.3 percentage points, according to the study.

"It's hard to say if this really works or not. There's a definite bias because it's self-report, and a bias in the population because IBM employees tend to be highly educated. But it probably does help to an extent, because you would hope it would inspire parents to think about healthy eating and physical activity habits. And, the program materials probably add to their knowledge," said Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

More information

The American Heart Association has suggestions for keeping kids healthy.

SOURCES: Dee Edington, Ph.D., director, University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, Ann Arbor; Chifung Lu, M.S., senior analyst, University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, Ann Arbor; Goutham Rao, M.D., clinical director, Weight Management and Wellness Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; November 2010 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Medical Nurse Training, Inc. Partners With Healthcare Companies to Develop Corporate Branded, Accredited Programs for Patient/Bed Safety and Fall Prevention/Protection
2. Health Groups Ask Supreme Court to Authorize Financial Penalties on Tobacco Companies for Decades of Wrongdoing
3. Pelosi: The Days of Allowing Insurance Companies to Place Profits Over Public Health Must End
4. 21 Healthcare Companies Achieve Semi-Finalist Status for Innovations in HealthcareSM ABBY Awards
5. Increased Government Scrutiny of Companies That Use Independent Contractors, Consultants, or Freelancers: Are You Ready? Learn More at Complimentary Breakfast Briefing
6. Sen. Barbara Boxer Commends California Poultry Companies and Cites Foster Farms Campaign for Raising Consumer Awareness About Sodium
7. Pelosi on Repealing Antitrust Exemption: Health Insurance Companies Will Now Be Playing on the Peoples Field
8. Cymetrix Board Member Recognized for Enhancing the Growth and Operations of the Companies He Advises
9. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies To Host Fourth Annual National Walk@Lunch Day(R) on April 28, 2010
10. Medco Tops Fortunes Lists of Worlds Most Admired Companies for Third Consecutive Year
11. Nine Healthcare Companies Named Finalists for Innovations in HealthcareSM ABBY Awards, to be Presented April 28th
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Companies Can Motivate Families to Live Healthier
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” ... the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... fitness centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location ... club will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in southern ... home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to create ... health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight years. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired ... Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... BALTIMORE (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... average of $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, ... higher. , By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017 ... of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced ... National Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de ... The first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated ... provides optimal access, illumination and exposure of a ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: