With March the official Greek-American Heritage and Irish-American Heritage months, Test Smartly Labs is exploring the connection between genetics and health.
Although lifestyle choices can affect your health dramatically, genes can also have an impact on your overall wellness. Anyone looking to take control of their health should not just look forward to the changes they can make, but also backward at their family health history.
What does this mean for your workplace wellness program? Here are some tips for helping your employees see the importance of their family’s medical history.
Family Health History & Workplace Wellness
Educate Your Employees on the Importance of Health History
Many employees might not realize how valuable their family health history is or how much it affects their health. As a part of your workplace wellness program, you should educate your employees on the importance of their family health history. Consider having a lunch and learn meeting in which visiting medical professionals highlight reasons why you should know your family health history. You could also include this information in your wellness newsletters or on posters or brochures displayed at your workplace.
Here are some quick facts about family health history that can help your employee education efforts:
- If a family member has a disease, you may have a higher risk of developing the same disease when compared to someone without that family history. This does not mean you will definitely get the same disease, but it does mean you can be prepared and make necessary lifestyle changes to lower your risk. For instance, if your family has a higher incidence of heart disease or high cholesterol, you may be at increased risk for heart disease, which is the #1 cause of preventable death in the United States. Knowing this risk can help you and your doctor develop a plan to eliminate your heart disease risk factors.
- Knowing your family health history can also determine what health screenings you need to get. For example, a family health history of colorectal cancer could lead you to get screened for the disease more frequently — and according to the CDC, 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening.
Give a Family Health History Survey
Including a family health history questionnaire in your workplace wellness program is a great way to help your employees learn more about their medical background. Your employees will have to speak with family members to get a clearer picture of their family health history, and once they’re done, they’ll not only have the knowledge. but also a written record that they can refer to and add to as time goes on. Plus, this survey will benefit your workplace wellness program as a whole because you can plan your programming around the conditions that your employees are at increased risk for.
Want Help With Workplace Wellness?
If your business needs help with workplace wellness, including programming, policy set-up, or revision of an existing program, the wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs located nationwide can provide assistance. Whether you’re looking to better incorporate family health history or to create a brand new workplace wellness initiative, we have the experience and expertise.
To get started, find your wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs today!