Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Employee WellU Newsletter September/October 2017

WellU Newsletter
Sept./Oct. 2017


Only 4 More Months to Enjoy!
Want to improve stress levels, attention span, cognitive skills, and memory? WellU is partnering with the popular online program to help employees "Thrive, Lead, and Move" to improve all aspects of their lives. 

The Move or Bust Challenge is Back!

St. Louis County verses City of Duluth verses CSS Employees!

This is a 4 week movement challenge! Log your minutes of exercise each day, or connect your fitness device at
Challenge begins October 2nd! Fun prizes for all who complete the challenge! 
Join through the link below today...
Use your CSS email to create your profile. Click on the "Join the Move or Bust Challenge" and then join The College of St. Scholastica team.

Strength Training Basics: 
(New to WellU!)
Would you like to learn how to lift weights? Are you just starting a fitness program? This class is an easier and slower paced version of the Stronger Today class. Participants will learn the basics of strength training. 
Days: Tuesday and Thursday 
Date: Begins September 12th (new participants are welcome)
Time: 1:00 p.m. (40 minutes) at BWC studio
For extended campus employees, please check out the Fitness Focus videos on the WellU website: 

T'ai chi
T'ai chi (pronounced "tie gee") is a traditional Chinese discipline that is practiced with slow, relaxed, and circular series of movements. It is practiced for many benefits including mindfulness meditation, relaxation, low impact exercise, and self defense. This course is ongoing as part of the health promotion program at CSS for students, faculty and staff. 
Days: Monday & Wednesday 
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Place: BWC Studio
Instructor: Dave Swenson
Date: Currently in session (new participants are welcome)!

Empower Yourself:           
Free Exercise Training Sessions!
(Individual, or groups of 2-4)
Choose one option or do them all!
1) BWC Orientation 
(weight machines & free weights)
2) Exercise RX & Motivational Coaching
3) Fitness Assessments

Starts September 18th
(Trainer: Mary Johnson, Graduate Student/Exercise Physiology)
Appointments available Monday & Wednesday 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.

Starts September 19th
Appointments available Tuesday/Thursday mornings 
7:15 a.m. or 8:15 a.m. 
(Trainer: Jennifer Widstrom, MS Exercise Physiology)
Sign Up: Empower Yourself Sign Up List (Jennifer)

(Strength Training 101 Continues)
Learn how to lift weights correctly using weights, bands, compound exercises, and your own body weight as resistance. This class is perfect for most fitness levels; however, beginners may want to try the Strength Training Basics class first. You will increase your strength, balance, and mobility while preparing yourself to do strength training at home on your own too. 
Days: Tuesday and Thursday
Date: Begins September 12th
Times: 12:00 (40 minutes) at BWC studio
If you can't make it to class, or you are an extended campus employee, please check out the 
Fitness Focus videos on the WellU website! 

Stretch Breaks Are Back! 
The WellU exercise physiology trainer will visit your department and take you through some great stretching exercises to relieve tension from sitting at a desk all day!
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:20, 2:40, & 3:00 p.m.
(Trainer: Mary Johnson, Graduate Student/Exercise Physiology)

Feeling stressed or tired? Need a break to renew your focus? WellU has you covered! Stop in for simple stretching exercises and guided meditation.
Days: Wednesdays 
Date: Begins October 4th
Time: 1:00 pm (10 minutes stretching and 10 minutes meditation)
Room: Tower Hall #1117

Fond Of Free Lunch?             
Lunch & Learn Is Back!
September Topic: Live "Diet Free" Introduction.
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
Place: Science #1127
Date: September 20th
Email Invitation will arrive in your inbox soon.

Live "Diet Free!" (New to WellU!)
This easy 10 week online program will help you improve your health! Simply watch a 30 minute video featuring registered dietitian, Zonya Foco, and practice that new habit each week. This program encourages healthy eating and exercise patterns and is for anyone who wants to improve their well-being. It is also a weight loss program for those who want to lose weight without going on a diet! Web portal access and the Diet Free user kit are supplemented by WellU! Diet Free is normally $145 per person, but your cost is only $25! You may also purchase an extra kit for family members. Diet Free is perfect for extended campus employees too.
Look for weekly challenges and prizes drawings!
Begins October 9th 
Sign Up Here: Diet Free List (Signing this list through the google form is a commitment to the program and a user kit will be ordered for Duluth campus employees)
Note:(Extended campus employees will be emailed further instruction and a coupon code to order online. The user kit will be shipped directly to you. WellU pays the shipping fee.)

An optional discussion group will meet on Mondays at 12:00 p.m. in Tower Hall #3121. (bring your own lunch)

On Peace And Stability...

A Message From The Mission Integration Group

These are deeply unsettling times for many people across the country.
For 1,500 years the Benedictine way of life has helped people facing problems that were as serious as our own. In fact, Saint Benedict wrote his Rule during an era of existential crisis for Western civilization, as the Roman Empire dissolved amid decadence, anarchy and violence. 

The Benedictine wisdom tradition places a high priority on peace and stability. Though these aren't among the values that we normally articulate at the College, they're at the heart of the Benedictine way.

In his prologue, Benedict quotes the Psalmist: "Let peace be your quest and aim." This isn't a passive sort of peace, Benedict is saying, but one we must pursue however arduous the path. It must be our conscious goal. Perhaps that's why many Benedictine monasteries around the world have the word 'Peace' at their entrance, just as we have the beautiful Peace Doors created by Sister Mary Charles McGough.

The first chapter of the Rule discusses stability, which is the vow monastics make to stay rooted to their monastery. In its broader sense, stability has many meanings and applications. One aspect is particularly relevant here. Stability includes remaining faithful to one's path toward God. This can include prayer, intentional stability in relationships, and serious reading and reflection.
Stability offers a way to discern God's will, to move forward in trust and hope. The benefits of stability are not uniquely a Benedictine insight. The poet and essayist Wendell Berry and the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, among many others, offer rewarding perspectives.

To make our way through anxious times, we can nurture the whole person - body, mind, heart and spirit. We can make use of the resources here on campus, including WellU, the counselors, the Campus Ministry team, Benedictine Friends Across Campus, and the services at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel. Opportunities for physical fitness include the hiking trails and Burns Wellness Commons' many options for exercise, classes, intramurals and more.

We can develop the courage to truly 'listen with the ear of our heart,' as Benedict urges us in the opening of the Rule.

The human spirit is resilient. Where Benedictinism lives, community and love are strong. They persevere.

Employee Health Risk Assessment & 
Care Gap Analysis Data:

Have you ever wondered what areas of wellness we need to collectively work on here at CSS in order to improve our overall health and well-being? WellU is here to serve our community through targeted wellness programs. In order to develop programming each year, we look at the WellU Employee Survey results, the Health Risk Assessment from Health Partners Insurance, and the Care Gap Analysis from Willis Towers Watson, our benefits broker.

Care Gap Analysis Highlights:  
CSS employee health insurance claims are compared to 46 million other employees in the US with similar demographics. This report shows aggregate data on health insurance claims from last year (2015/2016). We have not yet received the 2016/2017 report.

68.2% of covered employees are low relative risk of active disease, 24.5% are medium risk, and 7.3% are high risk or are in active disease.
Staying low risk could save up to $5200 per employee/year.
26.9% of CSS employees fall in the medium to high care gap categories. Care Gaps are areas where people are lacking medical care often due to not having preventive exams or screening tests, not filling or taking required prescriptions, and not having essential follow-up medical visits to treat medical conditions.  
Major areas where CSS employees are lacking appropriate care:

Preventive Screening Tests:
  • Women >20 without pap smear test within age guidelines                         (24/36/60 months): 57.1%
  • Women >= 49 without mammogram in past 12 months: 44.4%
  • Women 40-49 without mammogram in past 2 yrs: 40%
  • Men >50 without PSA Test in past 2 yrs.: 57.7%
  • Colon Cancer Screening Tests
Active Disease:
The Care Gap Analysis also shows that employees in active disease are not getting appropriate and timely screening tests, not taking or filling medications needed to treat disease, and not going to followup medical visits. 
Here are a few disease areas lacking appropriate medical care: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and Asthma care.

Note: According to the WillisMed Health Outcomes Report, CSS is considerably above national averages for NOT getting preventive exams.The report estimates that CSS has the potential to save $1.7 million simply by employees getting appropriate medical care! Our current spend is approximately $5 million.

Yearly preventive exams and age appropriate screening tests are covered by Health Partners Insurance with no out of pocket expenses when seeing an in network provider.

If you have insurance coverage questions, please call the customer service phone number printed on the back of your insurance ID card: (800) 883-2177or (952) 883-5000Write down the date, time and person you talked to. All phone calls are recorded, so if you have a dispute with the insurance company, the recording can be reviewed.
Check out "Quick Links to Health" on the new WellU website!

Health Risk Assessment Highlights (2016/2017):

Members on the CSS health insurance plan receive a premium discount for completing the wellness program. The first step is to complete the health risk assessment on the Health Partners website. The second step is to complete a wellness or WellU activity. The self-reported health information from the assessment is delivered to us as aggregate data. We get no individual identifying data.

69.8%  (245 employees on the insurance plan participated in this assessment)

65.3%  Report being overweight or obese

20.4%  Report experiencing depression

41.2%  Report back pain

13.1%  Have high blood pressure

19.6%  Have high cholesterol
13.6%  Report productivity loss due to health concerns

21.6%  Report 6 hours or less of sleep per night

64.1%  Use no sun protection

9.8%    Drink alcohol and drive

56.5%  Report having no medical care in past year

28%     Low physical activity (less than 150 minutes of moderate aerobic                       exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity)

32.3%  Moderate risk for Diabetes & Heart Disease 
            (4x > risk diabetes & 2.3 x > risk Cardio vascular disease in 2.5 yrs)
33.5%  High risk for Diabetes & Heart Disease 
            (22.5 x risk Diabetes & 8.3x risk Cardio Vascular Disease in 2.5 yrs)

WellU is here to help all employees improve individual health and well-being! Please check out the new and continuing programs listed above and on the WellU Website!

Nutrition Bites...
5 Meal Prep Recipes...
5 Meal Prep Recipes...
Fitness Focus...

40 Minute Full Body Workout Beginner Strength Training by Pop Sugar
40 Minute Full Body Workout Beginner Strength Training by Pop Sugar
Questions? Email

Thursday, May 4, 2017

High Blood Pressure Awareness: Physical Activity Improves Your Blood Pressure Level!

Physical Activity Improves Your 
Blood Pressure Level

Daily physical activity is beneficial to your overall health. Thirty to forty minutes of physical activity a day can reduce your blood pressure, which means your risk of heart attack and stroke will also decrease. Daily physical activity does not have to be intense gym workouts. Activity can include stretching, muscle strengthening, and cardio.  Find an activity you enjoy such as taking a brisk walk or joining a fitness class, and you will start seeing improvements in your health.

The American Heart Association provides tips to help you become heart healthy by adding physical activity into your day:

Don’t be afraid to be active!
Start out slow and keep working towards improvement.

Find something you enjoy!
Whether it is your favorite sport or a
scenic walk, enjoy  your daily activity.

Mix it up!
Variety helps you stay interested and motivated!

Make it social!
Walk with a neighbor or join a fitness                      
class with your friends.  This will keep
you accountable and motivated.
Reward yourself.
Set aside a small amount of money for each time you exercise.  At the end of the month, use the money to reward yourself with some new workout gear!

Allie Raich
Health Information Management, 2017

To learn more, click on the link!