Creating a Culture of Citizenship > Our Workplace Healthy Living Initiatives
Healthy living is part of the Abbott culture around the world. The Body-for-LIFE! challenge and Mexa-se! are just two of our many initiatives to encourage our employees to make good choices for good health.
Our healthy living initiative Exercise Across Abbott rewards participants for increasing their physical activity each week. This bike team contributed to the worldwide total of 14 million minutes – more than 26 years – of exercise completed.
As a global health care company, we are committed to helping our employees and their families lead healthy, productive lives – and we strive to set an example to encourage other employers to embrace a culture of health. Our wellness programs provide resources, information, motivation and support to help our people make healthy lifestyle choices, minimize health risks, manage chronic health conditions and get access to comprehensive, high-quality health care, medicines and related supplies.
The healthy living and wellness programs we offer vary around the world, reflecting the needs of employees and the characteristics of national health care delivery systems. Most of our locations offer on-site influenza immunizations, health screenings and access to exercise such as fitness centers, health club membership subsidies and/or discounts and sports and recreation clubs.
In 2011, nearly 13,400 Abbott employees in 59 countries participated in our global four-week team-based fitness program, Exercise Across Abbott. This program rewards participants for increasing their physical activity each week. In all, teams logged more than 14 million minutes of exercise – an average of almost six hours per week per person – and 352 teams (53 percent) consistently increased their exercise minutes every week.
Additionally, healthy food choices are available in our employee cafeterias – and many of our work sites offer educational programs on nutrition and related topics. For example, in 2011, our affiliate in India launched a series of new health and wellness resources, including health checkups, health risk assessments and access to a health coach or medical professional. Thirty-four percent of eligible employees participated, and overall feedback was positive. The program will continue to expand in 2012 with monthly newsletters, workshops and health challenges. Similarly, our Brazil operation enhanced its wellness activities in 2011, in response to employee feedback, by providing more information and tips on stress management, healthy diet, exercise and weight loss. Abbott Brazil created a local Wellness Committee, with representatives from various business units to support the introduction of multiple new wellness initiatives, including a team run that attracted 93 participants, and multiple exercise and weight loss campaigns.
In October 2011, Abbott Ireland launched a wellness program that kicked off with a mental health awareness campaign promoting positive mental health. More than 1,200 employees engaged in the events.
Many of our locations around the world offer a broad range of on-site health services in addition to educational programs and wellness events. Our manufacturing facility in Karachi, Pakistan, has delivered a wide array of such benefits through its Get Active! exercise and fitness campaign. For six weeks beginning in April 2011, nearly 100 employees attended 45-minute aerobics sessions after work in the plant cafeteria. Throughout the project, possible barriers to participation were removed. For example, a female aerobics teacher was hired to ensure that female employees would feel comfortable participating, and taxis were arranged to take employees home who would have missed their regular rides.
To keep employees engaged, periodic contests were organized for attendance, weight management and physical activity as measured by a pedometer. The plant director, who was himself a regular attendee of the exercise sessions, awarded prizes at the end of the program.
A survey administered to program participants at the conclusion of Get Active! found that 97 percent of participants reported increased energy levels and a greater capacity for physical activity. Three-quarters of the participants also felt that the exercise program had improved their ability to concentrate, an outcome that could generate productivity-related benefits.
In the United States, we offer an integrated wellness program, LiveLifeWell, which encompasses:
- Online health assessment and tools
- Personal health coaching and nutrition counseling
- Awareness-raising campaigns and events
- On-site immunizations and health screenings
- The Body-for-LIFE Challenge, Abbott’s 12-week nutrition and exercise regimen
- 10K-A-Day, a program that encourages employees to build more physical activity into their lives
Approximately 70 percent of U.S. employees and 69 percent of their spouses participate in LiveLifeWell. Employees working with a health coach have lowered their health risks significantly more than those who are not working with a health coach.
Through awareness-raising events, we help employees learn about their health risks and encourage them to make healthy choices. Examples of these activities include diabetes awareness events and cooking demonstrations; healthy heart events that offer free blood pressure screenings; and posting of nutritional information in Abbott cafeterias to promote healthy meal choices.
With the help of a step counter, daily email tips and online tools, the 10K-A-Day program challenges and motivates U.S. employees to reach the daily goal of 10,000 steps. After the first eight weeks of the program, employees may enter the Million Step Club and focus on accumulating a million steps. In 2011, more than 23 percent of employees registered for the program took more than a million steps.
The Body-for-LIFE Challenge teaches participants how to build muscle and burn fat by following a weight-lifting and cardiovascular fitness routine and by eating small, frequent, nutritious meals to boost metabolism. More than 3,400 employees took the challenge in 2011. On average, employees dropped 1.8 inches from their waist and lost five pounds.
Integrated Care Management – Putting the Patient First
In the U.S., Abbott’s unique approach to integrated care management identifies gaps in standard programs and provides a customized, patient-centered model that delivers targeted support for our population. The company has partnered with multiple organizations to provide integrated, comprehensive services and health plan benefits that help employees and families maintain and improve emotional, physical and financial well-being.
It is an integral part of Abbott’s Health Care Strategy to:
- Eliminate cost barriers for preventive care services
- Support people across the health care continuum
- Proactively identify early opportunities
- Ensure each individual is appropriately/seamlessly transitioned to the best service that meets their needs at any point in time
- Co-manage and integrate with vendor partners to enhance member experience
- Create impact with each member interaction to drive to optimal outcomes
- Incent individuals for active engagement in completing health goals
Abbott’s integrated care management programs have produced multiyear cost avoidance for both Abbott and its employees, and helped deliver care that is more effective for individuals with serious health conditions. Abbott continues to evaluate the effectiveness of both the wellness and care management programs and has found the greatest ROI when individuals participate in all of the programs to leverage the entire learning and behavior modification tools and resources.
Comprehensive Approach – Health Is More Than Physical
Abbott’s commitment to our employees’ well-being is further demonstrated in our programs to address emotional health needs. Abbott employees and their families in 23 countries around the world have access to company-funded Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
EAPs are intended to promote a productive and healthy workplace by applying specialized knowledge and expertise about human behavior and mental health. Abbott uses EAPs both to enhance employee productivity and to help individuals identify and resolve personal concerns regarding health, family, stress, finances, alcohol, legal concerns, grief and other issues that could impact job performance.
Beyond individualized assistance, our EAP provides ongoing support to employees by offering topical seminars and online education. Abbott’s EAP includes crisis intervention services, and it responds to emergencies in the workplace. EAP resources also are available to employee family members, thus extending the beneficial impact of EAPs further into the community. In total, our EAP offerings help employees address personal problems and concerns so that they can face fewer distractions, make fewer mistakes and be more productive at work.
Note: All data in the Global Citizenship section reflects activities prior to the separation of Abbott and AbbVie on January 1, 2013.