Athletic metaphors about business and life seem ingrained in our collective psyche. “Three yards and a cloud of dust. . . win one for the Gipper. . . just do it!” Stuff like that. So it was with little surprise that the term “Coach” found its way into wellness nomenclature.
Taking on the temporary role of Head Wellness
Coach, I’d like to share a simple but powerful strategy that may change the way you think about the game of wellness.
Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the term “wellness” was just starting to be used. There was a lot of talk about “Superior Wellness and Superior Health.” Meaning health and wellness should not just be the absence of disease but a life in full motion.
Back in the early 1980s the vision for wellness
could be summed up by these 3 goals:
#1. For individuals to achieve the full realization of mind, body, and spirit potential.
#2 To stop the progression of disease and instead make health a norm for life.
#3. For employers, wellness was to be a promise of great workplace cultures, high productivity, competitive advantage, and full engagement.
That’s the Wellness Game Plan I signed up for, back in the day.
My mentor and Coach was Louis C. Robbins, MD. See 5 Lessons From One of America’s Greatest Pioneers of Wellness and Health Promotion. He was always conscious about the difference between Primary Prevention (offense) and Secondary Prevention (defense).
He wanted health educators to strategically and consciously manage educational content and programs with a balanced attack. He knew the nation could easily get caught playing defense against diseases. And that playing defense all the time uses up too much time, energy, and resources.
The Wellness Team Locker Room
Think of the blue and green area of the infographic as your “offensive unit.” And the yellow and red areas as your “defensive unit.” A big weakness in many Workplace Wellness Game Plans are that they’re too heavily weighted in secondary prevention. We’re playing too much defense. We’ve got to get back on offense.
We’ve morphed workplaces into rehabilitation clinics for the members of our team on the injured reserve list. We’re stuck in a rut with injured players and absent offensive units. Can you imagine any team without an offense? I’ve seen a lot of workplaces that have “wellness” programs that do not have one aspect of primary prevention (lifestyle improvement) in their arsenal. All defense, and not one offensive tactic, in the play book. That’s a recipe for a losing season.
How to Use the Wellness Locker Room Infographic:
1. Balance Programs & Content: which locker would you put your wellness program components and communication content in? Would one locker be taller than another? Is it possible to alter your programs and communication to make the lockers more equal in size? Or better yet, can you get to the point the Superior Health Locker and the Good Health Locker are taller than the other two lockers? You’ve got to have an offense to put some points on the board.
2. Color Code Activities: take a look at each element of your program. If it’s in the Primary Prevention area, code it blue or green. If it’s in the Secondary Prevention area, code it yellow or red. This will help you realize how many specific elements of your program put you on offense and how many put you on defense. Then balance your game between a tough defense and a powerful offense.
This simple analogy can help you become more aware of what you’re doing for Wellness Team on Offense and Defense. And once you know what kind of untapped power you have in your own locker room, you can improve your game and your record.
See The Head Wellness Coach’s Winning Strategy For A Championship Program, Step II for more ideas and another powerful infographic. With Step I and Step II, you’ll begin to think about your wellness team more strategically and be able to build a winning legacy.
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[textbox rows=”3″]<a href=”https://www.hopehealth.com/2012/12/the-head-welln…program-step-i/p=3151″><img title=”The Wellness Team Locker Room” src=”https://hopehealth.com/images/blog-images/WellnessTeamLockerRm-Lg.gif” alt=”” width=”240″ height=”200″ /></a>[/textbox]
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read, and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.