Ever notice that wherever you go there is a little “wellness emoji” chasing you? On tv, radio, on an app, computer, work, bathroom stall door and on and on. Whether it’s a wearable fitness band, ab cruncher, Nordic Track, free months at the gym, incentives at work, spin classes and on and on; it screams at you “get well, be well.” But, do we really, truly want to change our behavior to get and stay well?
The reason healthcare is so expensive is that we are sick and out of shape. The numbers don’t lie. Consider:
- Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200 mg per day could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.
- Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
- The costs exceed $147 billion per year for the treatment of obesity related diseases.
- Projections estimate that by 2018, obesity will cost the U.S. 21% of our total healthcare costs – $344 billion annually.
- Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen creating a whole new generation of unfit Americans.
Even knowing this, from year to year, we continue to stay unhealthy. Getting healthy requires commitment to learn and execute new behaviors on a daily basis. But first, you have to be a willing participant in your journey, and you must do it for you and not anyone else. If you aren’t willing, there is no commitment and the “emoji” will continue to chase you. You have to decide when you have had enough.