Organizational Health Programs
The health of their employees is becoming a top priority for many Canadian employers, including the Ottawa Police Service. In Canada, the top employee health concerns include poor nutrition, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, work-related stress, and a sedentary lifestyle.
In response to these health concerns, workplace wellness programs are becoming increasingly common. These programs take a variety of forms, but none are as thorough, comprehensive, or individualized as the Real You. Of the ten most frequently offered wellness initiatives within Canadian organizations, largely absent is any program that impacts a sedentary lifestyle or related risks, including obesity and high blood pressure (Sun Life National Wellness Survey). The Real You has been working exclusively with the Ottawa Police Service since 2007, addressing these concerns directly, with outstanding results.
Are you interested in bringing the Real You to your organization?
The Real You operates from a truly integrative perspective. Our team of health care providers work together to assist each participant in achieving their individual health goals. We aim to catch disease early, reduce risk factors for developing disease, and teach people how to live healthy lives. Our integrative approach, ongoing care, emphasis on prevention, and focus on helping each person reach their true potential is what sets us apart from other medical programs.
The figures involving chronic disease in Canada are astounding. There are four types of chronic disease – cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes – that are responsible for almost 75% of deaths in Canada every year. Cardiovascular disease and cancer result in 35% and 29% of all deaths in Canada annually, respectively. The costs of these chronic conditions add up. The direct medical cost of chronic disease is estimated to be $39 billion/year. The indirect costs associated with chronic disease in Canada, with a loss of productivity contributing primarily to this category, account for over $54 billion annually. Combining these direct and indirect costs, the estimated cost of chronic disease in Canada is over $93 billion/year.
The Real You Team believes that prevention is where the future of successful health care lies. Preventing disease, not just treating it, is the only way to address the impact chronic disease is having.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of 4 different health care providers that all participants see:
- Family physicians focus on health promotion and disease prevention through education, a comprehensive health assessment, and thorough screening to identify disease or risk factors for disease.
- Naturopathic doctors educate on diet and lifestyle education, with a focus on helping each participant achieve optimal nutrition.
- Physiotherapists focus on exercise prescription and teaching proper exercise technique to get fit and to prevent injury.
- Psychologists provide positive psychological skills education and coaching.
Participants of the Real You program undergo:
- A medical assessment – including a complete medical examination and identification of risk factors for chronic diseases and cancers, and a discussion about the impact that lifestyle plays in disease prevention and treatment.
- Laboratory testing – including blood and urine testing, abdominal ultrasound, EKG and/or stress test, cancer screening if indicated (including fecal occult blood, cancer blood screening and mammography). Other testing and referrals to health professionals may be requested based on participant’s health concerns and risk factors for disease.
- Psychological assessment, with education about positive psychological skills, tools, and coaching by a licensed psychologist
- Individualized nutritional evaluation, holistic dietary education and support.
- Individualized exercise prescription and instruction by a physiotherapist.
- Ongoing support and education with behavioural modification and creation of a healthier lifestyle.
- Group workshop(s) on healthy living.
Results of the Real You Program
Objective changes as a result of completing the Real You Program
- Diagnoses of previously unidentified health conditions in 70% of program participants
- Statistically significant improvements in body composition, including:
- Weight loss
- Body mass index
- Percentage of body fat
- Waist:hip ratio
- Improvements in cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels
- Reduction in blood pressure
Changes noted by Real You participants
- Better overall sense of health and well-being
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Positive health changes
- Improved eating habits and nutrition
- Have made physical activity a part of their daily life
- Improvements in posture and balance
- Improved energy levels
- Improved stress management
- Improvements in mood, sleep, and concentration
- Decreased pain
- Reduction in pain, alcohol consumption, and smoking
- Increased engagement
- Increased productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
What is so special about the Real You is the influence it has. The synergistic effect of the team is able to influence the physical health of participants, in addition to shifting their awareness and belief in themselves. The outcomes we have seen not only have huge impacts on participants, but also their family, friends, and coworkers. Successful participants of the Program are able to influence their family’s eating habits, their friends’ physical activity, and their coworkers’ response to stress. We’ve seen this result time and time again – when we influence the health of one person, we automatically influence the health of everyone they are in contact with. This is what makes the Real You so invaluable. It’s not only the participants that benefit; it’s everyone.