Problem Analysis Summary - Part One

Essay by DANIMAL69University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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Problem Analysis Summary - Part One

Health is an important asset that many of us take for granted. An individual's health not only affects them on many personal levels it also affects employers, in the form of attendance, performance, and benefit costs. When unhealthy lifestyles are chosen it often results in a rise in costs for both the employee and the employer. The cost to employees is losing their health, the cost to employers is rising healthcare costs.

In May of 2004 Michigan Surgeon General, Kimberly Wisdom released a Prescription for a Healthier Michigan to address the overall health of the state and how current unhealthy lifestyle of the population affects the healthcare costs in the area. This one-hundred forty-five page document was in response to a 2002 study commissioned by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The MEDC study concluded that Michigan has a higher than average population of unhealthy citizens within its workforce and state and that these unhealthy populations are the major contributors to our ever-rising heath care costs.

Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and smoking are the highest ranked health threats in Michigan, according to the MEDC study. The study ranked Michigan as having the largest amount of citizens with coronary heart disease, the second largest populations of obesity and diabetes, and ranked sixth in populations with smokers.

It is clear that something needs to be done, but what? In the late 1980's to the early 1990's, employer-offered wellness programs were highly promoted to encourage a healthy workforce. These programs were hurriedly implemented into the business world with little focus on who, what, when, where, and why. Who should participate, what health risks does our employee base consist of, and where should we focus our attention on to make the most impact where never thought...