Of all the employee wellness benefits available today, exercise is the beachhead component that can jumpstart the wellness virtuous spiral. MYTRAK Health has developed a human 'Performance Index' (PI), a cardinal number between 0 – 1,000, as a universal but simple measurement of individuals' fitness states. Exercise is a well documented preventive of many diseases. By exercising in a prescribed zone, individuals can improve their PI which serves as an accurate predictor of down-the-road wellness and dramatically reduced health costs…something of equal appeal to employers and insurers.
To curtail spiraling health care costs, progressive employers are looking to implement more preventive measures among their employee populations to mitigate, or even avoid, the occurrence of debilitating and costly diseases. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are isolated as two of the leading causes of many serious diseases which were labeled by the U.S. Surgeon General as "preventable."
Exercise has been touted by public and private authorities alike to be an effective preventative against many diseases and conditions ranging from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, b****t cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and stroke. It also mitigates mental afflictions such as Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, and even anxiety.
According to Phil Trotter of MYTRAK Health, "It obviously behooves insurers and employers to encourage employee adoption of healthy lifestyles and total wellness programs to reduce costs, especially with the aging boomers. The challenge becomes how do you jump-start it with individuals who perhaps have been overweight, smoked, and never exercised their entire lives? Technology now makes it possible for exercisers to 'look under the hood' after each exercise session and actually see the positive benefits just derived. This gets them jazzed to keep going and, in time, pursue other wellness programs."
Exercise Is The Starting Point of a Virtuous Wellness Spiral
The reason why exercise was slow to be adopted by the deconditioned population segment is that there was too much latency between the investment in exercise and its subsequent benefit. Although there may have been improvement in intrinsic health, the lack of immediate visual proof such as weight loss or muscle tone tends to be a drag on people sticking with the program.
But those that do get over the initial "hump" start to gain strength and energy and want to keep going. After exercise gets installed as a regular lifestyle habit, they next desire to adopt other wellness components such as weight loss, smoking cessation, or perhaps a nutrition program. This starts an upward spiral, the more benefit they derive from a wellness program, the better they feel, and they seek to adopt more.
Additionally, employers benefit through increased productivity, a drop in sick time and absenteeism, and perhaps what keeps most benefits administrators up at night, finally a pro active program to reduce health insurance costs.
A New Automated Standard of Measurement for "Fitness State"
"The challenge is that not all exercise has equal significance upon human health", said Reed Hanoun, founder and inventor of MYTRAK, "The true benefit is derived not from exercise, per se, but from optimal exercise. Simply stated, optimal exercise carries components of proper exertion and being progressive. And, most first-time exercisers do neither. "
Given the plethora of exercise modalities, devices, and machines, a universal measurement standard is required to give a simple but meaningful indicator of the outcome of exercise to an individual's body. Hanoun's team worked on the problem for 3 years and finally devised the Human Performance Index, commonly referred to as the PI.
"The PI is an index that is a measure of a person's fitness state", explains Hanoun, "It is a composite of strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning. It has been designed to be a vital interface between the biomechanics of exercise and a meaningful metric for trainers and health care professionals to use in concert with other biometrics. The PI adds the hitherto missing data on a person's fitness state to the total health representation."
A Leading Indicator of Downstream Health
Many advanced health clubs have been gathering biometric data for years, such as BMI, blood pressure, and the like. But these are effects and not causes. Since exercise is leading prevention, the PI which measures fitness state thus becomes a leading health indicator of what's to be expected in future months and years.
As a person improves their PI or fitness state today, the odds are extremely high they'll enjoy better health, and less health care costs, tomorrow.
"But most importantly", added Hanoun, "It's totally automated, a gym's computers can communicate directly to a health provider's or employer's computers and thus relieve the burden of paperwork. That's what will finally facilitate the much badly desired rebates based on verifiable levels of fitness achievement."
A Currency Of Exchange Between Exercise Achievers And Payers
"With the PI standard, employers and health insurers can now establish benchmark goals for their employees / insured’s", concluded Trotter, "The improvement in PI levels by the employees will result in reductions in downstream health care costs and their associated health insurance costs."
About MYTRAK Health
MYTRAK Health with offices in Denver, Co and Toronto Canada, has developed an advanced automated exercise coaching, data collection, and reporting system that both motivates people to exercise in their optimal zones, and provides metric data for analysis by employers and health insurance companies. The firm has advanced technology that can measure any form of exercise and provide analytic data to employers and health insurers.
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