What Is Worksite Wellness All About? - A Series - The Health Status Concept
The different definitions of health status show that it is able to be assessed by a combination of subjective and objective indicators. Most often, in the workplace it is established on the basis biometric measurements in clinical settings like BMI (body mass index) and blood pressure cholesterol levels, weight and blood sugar levels. These objective measures are obtained by a procedure commonly referred to by the term biometric screen.
Health status is both subjective and objective information understanding these various information points is crucial.
Subjective Data Sources
The way that people perceive the state of their body has been proven to be influenced by a combination of:
Despite the workplace wellness community’s heavily relying on objective indicators for assessing health I was intrigued to learn how “self-assessed health contributed significantly to the prediction of mortality, even after controlling for a wide array of objective health indicators.” (Wright, 1977)
in his work, Healing Beyond the Body in his book Healing Beyond the Body, In his book, Healing Beyond the Body. Larry Dossey wrote: “Our own opinion about the state of our health is a better predictor than physical symptoms and objective factors such as extensive exams, laboratory tests or behaviors.” The Dr. Dossey also wrote that how people respond to “Is your health excellent, good, fair, or poor is a better predictor of who will live or die over the next decade than in-depth physical examinations, and extensive laboratory tests.”
The quotations from Wright as well as Dossey are notable given the worksite wellness community’s strong advertisement of the results of biometric screenings in the workplace as the indicators for an employee’s health condition. Because health can be described in broad terms and that health status is highly subjective and therefore, it would be a good idea for the wellness community at work to look into its current strategy for wellness which is confined to the individual health status of employees that is built on biometrics as well as assessment of health risks.
In the case of the state in the health of employees, the workplace wellness team should be able to go beyond what results are obtained from biometric tests.
Dossey, Larry. MD. 2001. Healing Beyond The Body. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
Wright, Stephen. 1997. Health Status Assessment in Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine. Baum, Andre. Newman, Stanton. Weinman, John. West, Robert. McManus, Chris. (Eds.) New York: Cambridge University Press.