Implement Change in the Workplace for Healthy Behavior

awrf-blog-series Mark Hertling is leading programs for global strategy, physician leadership development, and the “Healthy 100” at the innovative Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). He holds Masters Degrees in History and International Relations and has served four decades in the military.

He spent the first part of the speech talking about what the AWRF association members have given to the military. He expounded on how all the products that are manufactured and distributed are in various applications throughout the different branches of the government.

Then, he spoke about the generation of the Millenials – people born after 1994. This generation was spending about thirty hours a week in front of a “tube”. Over 51% of these children are from divorced children. The elimination of physical fitness became apparent in the school systems as well as home economics courses. To this day, only six states mandate physical education courses in K-8 curriculum. Only 1 of 8 children consume milk on a daily bases. This generation focuses on the “O” food group: nachos, tacos, Cheetos, etc.

photo-2 Of kids between the ages of 18 to 24, 76.2% of children are not qualified to join the Army. Almost 15% of these are due to obesity issues. 52% of this age group are tobacco users. If photo (2)the trend lines continue in this direction, over 69% of individuals from this age group will be obese. Aside from health issues, dental issues have dramatically risen in new recruits. Two out of three recruits needed some sort of major dental work.

In 2009, the military started a program called the “Soldier Athlete”. They started assigning physical therapists and trainers to all units. This was an expensive venture but a significantly less cost than paying for all the previous injuries. They also revamped all mess halls taking out deep fat fryers, changing recipe cards, and retrained all cooks to a healthier way of life. A green, amber, red program begin to highlight the advantages of eating healthy.

This is a serious problem for all association members. If this trend of unhealthy behavior continues, healthcare costs will continue to rise. There is a direct correlation between healthy behavior and mental awareness. Twenty percent of people in the private sector are motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. Sixty percent of these individuals can be motivated into a healthy style of living. Twenty percent of these individuals cannot be motivated. The association’s focus must be on the sixty percent in which we can influence change.

Organizations must implement changes in the workplace for healthy behavior. Start a program that works for the body, the mind, and your spirit. Some tips for a healthy lifestyle:

1. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly

2. Do not do other things while you eat

3. Share meals in a social setting

4. Use a smaller plate

5. Replace 75% of liquids consumed with water.

6. Counter the Standard American Diet

7. Reduce sugar

8. Eat more plants, less processed foods

9. Choose crunchy over soft.



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