A young friend of mine participated in his first wellness program recently. Being too young and idealistic to understand how the wellness industry works, he actually thought he would learn something, so he didn’t lie on the health risk assessment. (I am not allowed to use the name of his company. He is not so young or idealistic not to realize that dissing his company’s eminently dissable wellness program could get him fired.)
Since he listed “diabetes” as his disease, he got a call from a coach to “help” him with it. He was young and idealistic, so he answered the phone. She was very impressed with how well he managed it. His BMI is about 22, and his hobbies include basketball, which he played at the college level, and swimming. She said if he kept this up, he might be able to get off insulin.
“Off insulin? I can’t get off insulin,” he replied.
“I’ve seen many people get off insulin,” she said.
It turned out that his diabetes coach had never heard of Type 1 diabetes. He spent the next 15 minutes explaining to her the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. “Al, my company is billing out my time at $500/hour, I’m putting in 60-hour weeks…and spending my time explaining to diabetes coaches how diabetes works.”
If the people who run Schlumberger’s wellness program were actually producing drilling equipment, oil slicks would cover most of North Dakota by now.
Recently we observed what a fabulously stupid, pointless, counterproductive and harmful idea it was to run a crash-dieting contest. We used HealthyWage as an example of a company that does this, and should be avoided. We recommended doing wellness for employees instead of to them, by –to use one example — subsidizing gym memberships.
Schlumberger somehow interpreted this advice in a way which was the opposite of what was written. They signed up for an inter-corporate crash-dieting contest run by HealthyWage–which they financed by cancelling the employee gym membership subsidy.
A team from Schumberger was able to crash-diet their way to a highly precise 16.59% weight loss. That put them in a 6-way tie. Yes, 5 other teams also crash-dieted their way to a 16.59% weight loss.
The odds of 6 teams losing precisely the same amount of weight? Suppose that a team can crash-diet its way to between a 10% and 20% weight loss. As measured to 2 digits to the right of the decimal point, there would be a 1-in-1000 chance that two winning teams would achieve the same exact 16.59% weight loss. But six did. That’s a 1-in-1 quadrillion shot.
That means the odds of winning Powerball are about 1000 times better than the odds that HealthyWage knows how to read a scale.