Word of the Day: Well-Being

In this month’s HERO Briefs, you’ll notice a common theme: well-being. A quick Google search of the term results in more than 66 million hits (compared to 414 million for “wellness”). While it may not yet be a mainstream topic around the dinner table, the term is being tossed around by many organizations and with many definitions: career, community, cultural, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, medical, mental, physical, social, spiritual. For this reason, well-being continues to rise in priority on HERO’s Research Agenda, and we’ll consider how HERO might address it more formally at the Think Tank Roundtable in San Diego later this month. Will you be there to add your voice to the discussion? If not in person, consider joining us via webinar (HERO members only). Read on for new guidance on physical inactivity; a research commentary on flourishing; an EEOC update; information on webinars past and future; and opportunities that include a global award, research study, and conference presentations.

HEROForum16 Call for Proposals Ends March 1

Forum Logo“Nothing keeps. There is one law in the universe: NOW.” ~Alfred Sutro, The Open Door

As soon as we close the Think Tank Roundtable meeting next week and board our flights home from San Diego, we will immediately hop on the figurative train towards HEROForum16. The call for proposals to present an educational session ends March 1. Set in Atlanta, GA, September 27-29, HEROForum16 will focus on Leading in Well-Being: Workplaces Influencing the Health of Employees, Families and Communities, and invites proposals that address these topics: the future of work and the workplace, measures that matter, influencers, families and community, and, yes, well-being. Don’t let the train leave without you!

Global Award Seeking Healthy Workplaces

In previous years, HERO has been pleased to recognize winners of the Global Healthy Workplace Awards at HERO Forum. Employers from every corner of the world are invited to apply for one of three Global Healthy Workplace Awards, recognizing small/medium-sized, large, and multinational enterprises for exemplary programs in health and well-being. The deadline to apply is March 22. For more information, click here.

New Commentary Looks at Flourishing Study

While we’re thinking globally…Kristi Rahrig Jenkins, PhD, MPH, member of the HERO Research Study Subcommittee, has submitted the latest review of recently published industry research. Her commentary, “Association between Employee Flourishing, Lifestyle Behaviors, Health, and Work-Related Indicators,” looks at a September 2015 study of New Zealand workers by Hone et al. published in JOEM. The study focuses on the concept of flourishing—closely aligned with the emotional health domain of well-being–and associated characteristics. Dr. Rahrig Jenkins suggests the study enables employers to gain insight into different ways to measure these concepts as well as better understand the value of well-being for a more productive workforce. Other commentaries from the Research Study Subcommittee can be found here.

NEW! CEO Brief on Physical Inactivity

We are excited to announce the first HERO CEO Brief! A CEO Brief aims to translate evidence into practical guidance for executive business leaders addressing a specific workplace issue. The CEO Brief on Physical Inactivity has been developed to help business leaders understand why and how to address physical inactivity in the workplace. Supplementary documents also include a visually engaging infographic as well as a list of resources that other organizations have available to help employers increase employee levels of movement throughout the work day. The resources are available in the Resource Center area of the HERO website.

Getting the Word Out

Extra! Extra! HERO initiatives have received positive publicity recently.

In a recent article in Financial Advisor,Workplace Wellness Supercharges Corporate Bottom Lines,” HERO’s CEO and president, Dr. Paul Terry, comments on the correlation between health and well-being programs and superior stock performance, referring to three related studies published in the January issue of JOEM.

Dr. Jessica Grossmeier, HERO’s VP of Research, conducted an interview earlier this month with Employee Benefit News about the stock performance study, “Is there a link between worker health, stock price?

I was interviewed for a story about the role consultants and brokers can play in community health and wellness for a story in Employee Benefit Adviser, Wellness ties make brokerages ‘one-stop shops’ for the community.

EEOC Receives Comments on Proposed GINA Rule

Since April 20, 2015, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to employer wellness programs, HERO and other partners—American Heart Association (AHA) and Population Health Alliance (PHA)—convened several organizations representing employers and wellness program providers to understand the implications and to reach consensus on guidance for employers and policymakers. As the group considered areas of consensus, EEOC issued another rule, this one on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) as it relates to employer wellness programs. In December 2015, the consensus paper was completed and I was pleased to be among a group of individuals who conducted meetings in Washington, DC, with EEOC Commissioner Lipnic and other EEOC staff, staff from the offices of Senators Alexander and Murray, and the Office of Civil Rights from the Department of Health and Human Services. To Catherine Bresler with HealthFitness, Shane Doucet on behalf of Population Health Alliance, John Harris with Performance pH, Patrick Henderson with Quad Graphics, Pat O’Connor with American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jim Pshock with Bravo Wellness, Victoria Shapiro with UnitedHealth Group, and Laurie Whitsel with American Heart Assocation, it was an honor to be in your company and part of the collective voice in those meetings. At the end of the GINA proposed rule comment period on January 28, numerous organizations had submitted comments, some of which referred to this consensus work. A manuscript based on the final consensus paper has been accepted for publication by JOEM, tentatively scheduled for release in March 2016.

NBGH Invites Applications for 2016 Fall Conference

We’re happy to pass along an invitation from the National Business Group on Health for their conference on well-being and productivity in Washington, DC, September 14-16. The application deadline to present a session is February 29th. You can find the full details on the NBGH website.

Invitation to Employers to Join Metabolic Syndrome Study

RAND Health is seeking one or more employers willing to participate in a study that will test engagement and health outcomes in a metabolic program. If you’re interested in learning more about the study, read on or contact Hangsheng Liu, hliu@rand.org, 617-338-2059 x8638.

Upcoming Wednesday Webinar (HERO members only)

IMG_0263Join us on March 16th at 12:00 p.m. CST for a webinar with Megan Amaya, Stefanie Morrow and Melissa Walters from Ohio State University. HERO members can register here.

Our Archived Webinars

If you missed the webinars with Jennifer Flynn or Jack Groppel, grab a sit/stand desk and view the recordings. Jennifer’s webinar recording is for HERO members only, but non-members can read about the session here. Jack’s recording is available to members and non-members alike here.

My Personal View on Well-Being


When I asked my teenage daughter what well-being means to her, I was surprised at both her instant recognition of the term and her response. She had discussed it in her Personal Finance class, even more shocking. Her response: “Mental health. What makes you happy. Here’s an example: if spending time with your friends makes you happy, then that’s what you need to do to create well-being.” This resonates deeply with me. For most of my career, I have worked from my home office, whether that was in NC, MO, KS, CA, or VA. This flexible work arrangement has enabled me to spend more time with my family, one part of my personal definition of well-being. We recently enjoyed a winter cruise to celebrate my son’s high school graduation and a career accomplishment for my husband. The cruise was nice, but it was as much about recharging and reconnecting (as well as unplugging) as it was about the big boat and tropical destination. I’m fortunate to work for an organization where the culture supports its employees’ well-being. I hope you have the same good fortune.




©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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