NBA and NBPA Working on Mental Wellness Program

Professional sports provide many with a form of escape from their daily lives. It sparks debates, brings people of different backgrounds together and helps fulfills the competitive drive within many.

With the NFL, NBA and MLB generating billions in revenue annually and player contracts the most lucrative they’ve ever been, it’s easy to view the lives of professional athletes as those of little-to-no worries. What’s often not given the attention as the dollar amount of their contracts are the demands placed on them by those contracts, family needs, already suppressed mental issues, and the pressures that come with a life in the public eye.

A Focus on Mental Wellness

There has been recent progress made in professional sports on the handling and addressing of mental health issues. National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts recently revealed that the NBA and the NBPA are creating a mental wellness program for players.

In an interview with SB Nation, Roberts said “Everyone makes much ado about physical health and making sure these athletes are able to stay injury free so they can play. It’s been preposterous not to realize that mental wellness needed to be given attention.”

Roberts also called it “a shame” that mental wellness in the NBA has been overlooked.

Players Speaking Out on Their Issues

Just recently, Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan went public in acknowledging he suffers from depression. His admission led to Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love to open up about his own mental health issues in an essay published on The Player’s Tribune titled “Everyone Is Going Through Something.”

One in four adults has a mental health condition. That’s over 60 million Americans and 56 percent of American adults with mental illness do not receive treatment even with more having access to services.

Considering that many players that enter the NBA are as young as 18 when they are drafted, the pressure that comes with the weight of expectations both personally and professionally can wear on any young adult.

Perhaps the most prevalent aspects of the program, according to Roberts, is that it would be completely independent and separate from teams, the NBA and the NBPA. This would give players privacy to help receive the treatment they need without fear of any personal information being shared by organizations.

Conclusion

The productivity of each player on the roster is essential to the success of any franchise. Making strides to assure that they have the proper attention off the court to be at their best is just as important as having the best to help develop their skills on the court. The program isn’t yet fully in place but it’s another example of an industry placing a concentrated effort on the wellness and wellbeing of their employees.

Wearable Devices on the Rise in the Workplace

The incorporation of wearables within employee wellness programs are on the rise, as employers are seeking to keep organizational costs down and gather insight to help promote and benefit the wellness of their employees.
Employers Using Wearables to Monitor Health
A 2017 survey conducted by Springbuk, an Indianapolis based health analytics software company, revealed that 35 percent of employers in the US are using wearables to monitor health and calibrate their wellness initiatives. Respondents were comprised of employers, benefit consultants, and wellness vendors that participated in the Healthiest Employer” Award Program that encompasses over 8,000 employers nationally.
The remaining employers in the survey planned to have a plan in place to onboard wearables within a year. This is a drastic shift in thinking when just a few years ago, many felt that wearable health devices were just a novelty that wouldn’t gain any traction amongst employers because many users hadn’t become accustomed to the everyday use of devices. Devices were great at tracking steps, but didn’t provide much engagement outside of your basic activity data.
B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) 
There are a variety of different wearable devices on the market now and selecting the best one depends on what the individual’s usage will be with the device. Instead of purchasing a standard device to distribute to employees, more employers are allowing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach to not force a new device of technology on individuals who have already gotten accustomed with their preferred tracker.
Data Helps with Strategic Wellness Program Planning
The data gained from these devices have been used to deliver insights to employers about how to invest revenue towards wellness initiatives. When choosing a device to support their wellness programs, 60 percent of employers prioritized app usability.
 
44.1 percent of the employers surveyed used the device data in strategic planning of their wellness program. These programs had an employee participation rate of 83.8 percent, a 61.9 percent change in health risks. Some other metrics used by employers include a 52.7 improvement in employee clinical outcomes, changes in financial outcomes in regards to medical plans (58.7%), and impact of productivity and performance (22.5%). 

The
MoveSpring platform allows employers to aggregate device data to assess their employees activity and create reports to analyze data for strategic planning for their wellness program. Administrators are able to create and implement step challenges, provide content that educates and motivates employees on additional benefits the company offers to help them stay healthy.
Conclusion 
While we’re still in the early stages of the overall impact that wearables can have in the workplace, they don’t appear to be falling to the wayside anytime soon. To see how MoveSpring can help boost your current wellness program, stop by movespring.com to request a demo.

Should You Incorporate Wearables Into Your Company’s Wellness Program?

Wearables in the Workplace

Activity wearables have become tools to help promote healthier lifestyles and activity amongst users. Many now consider their days somewhat incomplete if they don’t hit their targeted daily miles or step goal.

It didn’t take long before companies begin jumping onboard in using wearables as a component of a comprehensive workplace wellness program. However, simply providing employees with these devices isn’t enough to help change health behaviors over the long term, and really, that’s the goal of any company. Typically, healthier employees translate into consistent productivity and less days missed do to sick leave.

Encouraging Participation

Aside from offering the devices or reimbursing employees of the purchase of them, implementing realistic goals to hit will make the program work by encouraging participation. Certain incentives can be set to further get more involved in the program. With any new program such as this, support is critical in helping to create new habits. Encouragement in the forms of newsletters or in-office staff is a great way to help with motivation and inspiration.

Keeping the program fresh and fun can seem like a challenge but there are numerous of ideas and themes to keep your employees active and inspired. Whether setting a collective goal, or making it competitive, the program should be one that is enjoyable and not cumbersome. Encouraging the submission of ideas, thoughts and testimonials is a great way to get first-hand knowledge of how the program is working. The testimonials can be used as a great source of inspiration around the office and the collection of ideas can help inspire new challenges to help keep things fresh.

In Summary

The goal is for the workplace practices to lead to long-term use and positive results. Wearables are only just a small part of investing into your employees overall health. While the devices are a great start, having a comprehensive strategy to encourage maximum participation is just as important.

 

If your looking for an app to help track your company’s step challenges, check out MoveSpring!

Three Factors Employers Should Consider before Structuring a Health and Wellness Program

With the New Year now here, several employers will be jumping on health and wellness initiatives. Helping to decrease the amount of time employees are on sick leave and to help increase productivity and focus. With the heightened focus on programs geared towards boosting the overall health of employees, employers might want to be smart in how they structure their wellness programs.  Here are three factors employers should focus on before rolling out any kind of program.

Communication
Before the building of any wellness can begin, it’s important for an employer to know exactly who their employees are. What their current health and activity levels are and what their goals are. For younger employees, their fitness levels and goals will be vastly different from some of the more senior employees. So it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t be incentivized and motivated with the solitary program. For large or medium-sized businesses, finding a way to sit down one-on-one with 500-plus employees isn’t feasible. A company-issued survey that targets age range, current fitness level/goals and eating habits is a great tool in helping target what employees might be good for different incentives based on the information provided.

 

Try these free online survey services:
Personalizing the Wellness Experience
With every employee’s fitness goal or activity level differing, comes the need for a more personalized experience. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee aren’t going to be important to next. With each person’s fitness level being unique, so should his or her experience. That shouldn’t mean that there aren’t activities that can’t be done as a unit. Encouraging group activities where everyone can participate in collectively, like morning yoga or group walks, are great ways to garner more participation, and keep those needing a little boost of motivation. The values of creating a community should tie nicely to the values of the company. To help with employee activity engagement, check out MoveSpring, a fun and easy-to-use health fitness tracking platform for companies and organizations.

 

Simplicity 

With most employees already having the burdens of a daily workload and at-home tasks, employers would be wise to make sure that their program is set up so that it isn’t too complicated. Oftentimes, employers don’t see the participation levels they want due to the employees not wanting to take on anything that they feel is going to add another burden or task to their schedule. The less confusion around the initiative, the higher the participation should be.