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Wellness conferences used to be like seasons, but in the last 5 years, they all seemed to start feeling like the movie Groundhog Day (more of the same)! Then I went to the the 8th Annual EHBC Wellness Conference in Washington, DC. What an experience! I was at the 1st annual in Hollywood, FL and the 6th annual and this was by far the greatest. I’d like to share of a few of the take-aways I got out of the conference this year.
1. A Holistic and Well Rounded Agenda. I had the honor of co-presenting as part of the Corporate Wellness Certification Track with Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, Chief Wellness Officer for Ohio State University. This session on Wellness Communications and delivering messages with emotional relevancy was well received and I felt the engagement and understanding from the attendees. It is clear that emotional well-being and it’s impact on an individuals state of physical health is intertwined. (Click here view slides from presentation.)
2. Sleep is the NEXT BIG THING in wellness. Arianna Huffington, Founder of the Huffington Post shared her story of how she “learned the value of sleep the hard way”, by fainting from exhaustion and hitting her head on her desk. Too long have corporate cultures rewarded and reinforced the first one in and last one to leave practice. If one of the main values of wellness is to increase productivity, happiness and smarter decision-making, then companies have to start valuing and extending policies that make it realistic for employees to get a good nights rest and recharge before the next work day. The main message is to DISCONNECT.
3. There will be no shortage of wellness technology. Fitness devices, analytics or apps, tech vendors were the majority in the exhibit hall. Delivering messages and influencing people’s point of view will always be a challenges and technology is bringing us more great ways to spread the messages. We can’t lose sight around the fact that motivation is still the main driver and emotions effect decisions more than anything else. We need to start powering down the devices to increase our natural energy. So keep bringing the newest bells and whistles to get attention, but make sure that when you have their attention, the messages are meaningful, relevant and ongoing.
4. Inspired Perspectives was a square on the Exhibit Hall Bingo Card! I just thought that was the coolest thing ever!