Alere Blog


Are E-cigs a Safe Alternative?

Posted by Ken Wassum on Apr 22, 2014 11:41:00 AM

Employers across the country are trying to figure out how e-cigs should be considered in the context of tobacco-free campus policies. The products do not produce smoke; they produce a vapor consisting of water, glycol, and nicotine. The dangerous tars that contain many toxins and carcinogens appear to be absent from e-cig vapor. 

Analyses of e-cig vapor have yielded some minor concerns about low levels of toxins. A recent study[1] found some toxins but reported that toxicant levels were up to 450 times lower than in cigarette smoke and comparable with trace amounts found in the Nicotine Inhaler, an FDA-approved quitting solution.

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Topics: Smoking, Workplace Wellness

Can Money Buy Behavior Change?

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Apr 17, 2014 7:41:48 AM

Sure, money talks. But how loudly?

It’s a question more employers are asking, in light of spiraling healthcare costs and new federal regulations governing employee wellness programs.

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Topics: Workplace Wellness, Incentives

The Rise of E-Cigarettes

Posted by Ken Wassum on Apr 15, 2014 9:09:00 AM

Employers worried about the costs of smoking may be wondering about the electronic cigarette (e-cig). Are e-cigs a solution? Are they effective at helping smokers quit? Or do they present additional risks that employers need to be concerned about? How do e-cigs work? How are they designed? Who is making these devices? How and where are they being marketed? Are they safe? Are there any policy implications for tobacco control and the workplace?

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Topics: Smoking, Tobacco Cessation

Keeping Your Younger Employees Healthy Will Pay Off

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Apr 11, 2014 10:52:00 AM

Do your younger employees show up for blood-pressure screenings? Do they clip on FitBits, sign up for health coaching, or otherwise take advantage of your company’s wellness benefits?

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Topics: Workplace Wellness

Key Factors that Lead to High Participation – Why Comprehensive Program Design Matters

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Apr 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM

When designing wellness programs, it’s important to keep in mind that one size does not fit all. You can have superior programs, but if you don’t offer the right programs to meet the specific needs of your population, your employees most likely will not be encouraged.

Employers who see real behavior change and engagement across their populations are successful at engaging their employees. Most of these successful companies offer a number of choices and activities targeted to a variety of interests and capabilities.

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Topics: Workplace Wellness

Look How Much Workplace Wellness Has Changed

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Apr 3, 2014 8:42:00 AM

It’s not easy to imagine Don Draper and his “Mad Men” co-workers chatting on the phone with a smoking-cessation coach or joining the ad firm’s secretaries for a power walk. The AMC show, returning this month for season 7, spans the 1960s, the heyday of the three-martini lunch and chain smoking in the conference room.

It would be another decade before even the most forward-thinking companies launched workplace wellness initiatives.

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Topics: Workplace Wellness

All It Takes is One Person to Start a Wellness Trend

Posted by Hamilton Mears on Mar 31, 2014 8:34:00 AM

A few of you may remember how popular the Wallabee shoe was in the ‘60s. But even if you were too young back then to remember such things (or not even born yet!), many of you will recognize the Wallabee name because the shoe came back into vogue not too long ago – and not because the shoe manufacturer decided to bring it back.

Researchers discovered that the shoe’s comeback could be traced to one person in New York City, who purchased a pair of used Wallabees in a second-hand shop. He wasn’t just any person. He was influential – a trendsetter who had friends in high places and a following of edgy, fashion-conscious hipsters.  

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Topics: Workplace Wellness, Engagement

How To Engage All Your Employees In Wellness

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Mar 25, 2014 8:14:51 AM

Getting your employees to participate in activities designed to promote healthy behavior change like the HRA or a weight loss program is challenging enough. What are you going to do about your employees with chronic conditions, most of whom are between the ages of 50 and 64 and may feel intruded upon by phone calls from nurses and health coaches?

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Topics: Chronic Disease, Workplace Wellness

Why Peer Leadership & Recognition Can Improve Your Engagement

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Mar 19, 2014 11:37:00 AM

Financial incentives are an effective and necessary method to jumpstart employee participation in wellness programs.  But in order for your employees to sustain healthy behavior change – which is the ultimate goal – the real motivation needs to come from within.

That’s why it takes a number of different influences all working together to impact an employee’s continued involvement in programs and activities that lead to a healthy lifestyle and result in weight loss, reduced stress, healthier eating and increased physical activity.

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How Healthy Are Your Overweight Employees?

Posted by Alere Wellbeing on Mar 18, 2014 12:19:00 PM

A handful of studies over the years have spawned the notion that carrying extra weight actually lowers the risk of early death, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes. But newer research suggests that theory isn’t holding up.

For example, a study just published in The New England Journal of Medicine tracked about 12,000 people with diabetes and found that those with the lowest BMIs lived the longest.

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Topics: Workplace Wellness, Weight Loss

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