The various definitions of health status indicate that it can be determined on the basis of both objective and subjective measures. Typically, in the workplace, it is determined on the basis of clinical biometric measures such as BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels and blood sugar level. These objective measures are derived through a process commonly known as biometric screening.Since health status can involve both objective and subjective data, knowing these different data points is important.Subjective Data Sources• Biographical information• Physical symptoms• Past health history• Family history• Health beliefs and values• LifestyleObjective Data Sources• Physical characteristics• Appearance• Health, lifestyle and other behaviors• Body systems functioning• Measurements and screening results• Results from lab testingSince there is no standard for health status, it can be based on either objective or subjective data. Generally though, current approaches are focused almost exclusively on the effects of illness and the varying states of ill-health.How individuals conceptualize their health has been shown to vary as a function of:• Age and gender• Social class• CultureThis means that how they view their health status will vary as well. Given that the conceptualization can vary, it is important to make the assessment about the individual employee as a whole person and not just about their current biometric data. This means that the employee needs to be viewed in the various contexts that can and will influence their health and not just as an isolated individual. An effective health assessment requires a contextual awareness and understanding in addition to observing and understanding any objective measurement and test results.Despite the worksite wellness community’s heavy reliance on objective measures as indicators of health, I found it interesting to read that “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 book, Healing Beyond the Body, Dr. 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.” Dr. Dossey also wrote that how people answer the question “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 quotes by Wright and Dossey are particularly note-worthy given the worksite wellness community’s heavy promotion of workplace biometric screening results as being indicators of an employee’s health status. Given that health can be defined in very broad conceptual terms and health status can be very subjective as well, it might behoove the worksite wellness community to take a look at its current approach to wellness being limited to just individual employee health status that is based on biometrics and health risk assessments.When it comes to the status of an employee’s health, the worksite wellness community would be wise to look beyond just the results of biometric screenings.ResourcesDossey, 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.
What Women Want in Business TravelWhat do women expect in business travel? In a nutshell, safety, value, loyalty, and high value amenities in the hotel room like a working hair dryer. There are many niche firms which are working with major hotel chain throughout the world to ensure women get what they want and the hotel keeps them coming back. One of the ways a hotel can keep female business travelers coming back is know that a woman’s needs are different than a man’s. One thing most women appreciate knowing is that the hotel has a supply of items most people tend to forget like razors, mouthwash, female care items and lotion. Many are willing to pay the retail price of them in order to have what they need. Female business travelers do not want or need female only floors for safety, but would rather have private security controlled parking garages and enhanced in-house security. Most of them know when they are being patronized and will not return to the same hotel where it happened again. They are strong and independent and have reached a level of seniority in their careers. They know what they want.Every Woman Checks Out the Bathroom SpiffHow many women do you know that do not check out the amenities in the bathroom?
Some ritzier hotel chains stock bathrooms with the same products they use in the in-house spas. Other hotels might load up the bathroom baskets with all natural products or the top in beauty and dermatology trends. The best bathroom spiff is worth distracting the housekeeping staff so a few extras can be swiped. About the towels: they should be soft to the touch and there should be plenty of them. In any case, if the blow dryer does not work, the room is a dud.Packing Bags for Overhead StorageShort trips and business travel go hand in hand. In order to make it as least stressful as possible, below are few tips for packing a suitcase to fit under the seat and in the overhead bin. Nothing puts a snag in business travel faster than waiting for luggage to be unloaded. Undergarments, cosmetics, jewelry, medication, travel documents, keys, business equipment like a tablet, laptop, smart phone, memory stick, extra business cards, smart phone battery extender, noise canceling headphones, money, eyewear for distance, reading and sun, chargers for every mobile and digital device you bring. Overhead bags should hold a day or two of business clothes, comfortable clothing for off times, large accessories like a flat iron, shoes and a coat. These are the essentials for most business travelers. It also helps to know that many airports and some airlines have more electrical outlets so charging a drained device is easy and convenient. Net Worth TV takes an inside look at business travel today.
The other day, I was reading an interesting book from the construction industry. It was written by a veteran of the industry who was a rather well accomplished lady who went back to teach construction management in college and got her PhD. Things have changed a lot in the construction industry, and nowadays it’s quite common to see women at the top of the food chain running these companies. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?Back in the early 80s only about 7% of the people in the construction work were women, it was back then at least, predominantly a man’s game. Still on the construction management side of things it was about 13%. Today, the numbers have drastically changed, and although men still outnumber women the door is wide open and the numbers have now more than tripled. Some have said that women do better than men in management due to their ability to build positive business relationships, and on the construction work side their attention to detail seems to suit them extremely well for quick upward advancement.Let me recommend a very good book to you, where I had found this information; “Construction Management Jump Start – Construction Management Basics – The First Step toward a Career in Construction Management”, by Barbara J Jackson PhD, DBIA. Not only does she predict this trend to continue, she expects that there will be a day sometime in the future that there will actually be more women than men doing construction management.Personally, that wouldn’t surprise me, especially what I’ve seen with today’s woman entrepreneur charging ahead and leading the field of so many industry sectors. There will be of course the transition period, which we are going through now, where hardheaded men will have to give up their sexist perceptions and discriminatory thought processes. It appears that we’re getting over that hump right now. After all, it doesn’t take a construction worker who is a man working on very many projects being led by a woman with a favorable outcome to change his mind.These women today who are working in construction management are getting the job done, they’re doing it on time, and staying on budget, often better than the men, and that should be telling us something. Next time, you see a construction project don’t assume that there is a man in charge of it, it could very well be a woman, and she’s doing one hell of a job. Please consider all this and think on it.