All those grey days of December can bring on a vitamin D deficiency in January. It’s an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on many systems throughout your body. Unlike other vitamins, it can function like a hormone. Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Some symptoms that indicate you may have low levels of vitamin D include, fatigue and tiredness, bone and back pain, depression, slow wound healing, bone and hair loss, muscle pain. Some risk factors that you have may acquire a deficiency include being elderly, not eating much fish or dairy, staying indoors, having darker skin, always wearing sunscreen and being overweight or obese.
One of vitamin D’s most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you are able to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. A deficiency is incredibly common and most people are unaware of it. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms consistently or potentially at risk, its important to speak with your doctor and get you blood levels measured. Fortunately, it is usually an easy fix and can have big benefits on your overall health.
Technology is influencing the future of wellness benefits
Employers will rely more on technology to shape and analyze their future wellness offerings, according to a global workforce well-being survey by consultancy Buck. The survey, which polled more than 250 employers, found the majority of organizations are planning to offer workplace health competitions (62 per cent), stress management programs (60 per cent), workplace environment improvements (58 per cent), online courses and training for healthy lifestyles (57 per cent) and online decision-support tools (52 per cent).
Employers also reported they intend to apply predictive analytics (50 per cent), incentive tools and tracking (44 per cent), a comprehensive portal (59 per cent) and decision support tools (53 per cent) to their benefits programs.
Today, organizations have more insight on how to promote wellness because they can easily collect and interpret data through technology, says Ruth Hunt, a principal in the engagement practice at Buck. Indeed, the survey found an increase in confidence among employers, with 40 per cent reporting they’ve achieved a culture of well-being in 2018, compared to 33 per cent in 2016.
Employers likely hold that assurance because they’re able to make “data-driven decisions,” says Hunt. “It’s not just someone’s perception or anecdote, or maybe one of the larger voices in an organization that’s promoting particular tactics, programs and strategies, but instead you have that stronger base on which to make those decisions.”
While 73 per cent of employers are focused on reducing insurance costs, they noted employees’ well-being is being affected by a number of other issues, such as stress (95 per cent), work-life issues (94 per cent), depression, anxiety and weight management issues (93 per cent each respectively) and access to health-care services (92 per cent).
Specifically, many employers are now promoting financial literacy in their benefits programs through money management and budgeting tools (66 per cent), financial health assessments (66 per cent), retirement estimation tools (63 per cent) and financial literacy and skills education (59 per cent).
Prioritizing employees’ financial well-being will prevent issues such as the inability to retire and delayed retirement, according to survey respondents. Other negative effects cited include lower productivity (52 per cent), absenteeism (47 per cent), higher health-care costs (38 per cent) and unwanted turnover (30 per cent).
Organizations now have a better understanding of the different facets of health and how they can be co-morbidities, says Hunt. “We’re seeing organizations look at total well-being in a holistic way.”
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EXCITING NEWS: Effective January 1st, 2019
We are excited to share important news regarding the evolution of our company. We are delighted to announce that our company name will be changing as of January 1st 2019 to benefitsConnect Inc. This name change represents a shift to modernize our brand in order to be viewed as a truly innovative and client-focused benefits consultancy & technology firm.
Our commitment to our clients and partners remains our highest priority. Rebranding ourselves as benefitsConnect provides added value to our full-service benefits advisory. By combining our years of consultancy experience with our Human Capital Management & technological capabilities, we are able to provide our clients with the best advice, service and HR platform available to the market today. Further, as part of this exciting national company rebranding effort, benefitsConnect will be adopting the new logo placed in the letterhead of this communication. We feel the logo represents a fresh new look and cutting-edge image.