I attended a conference in Boston this weekend called Lifestyle Medicine: Tools for Promoting Healthy Change. Here is a short summary of some of the stats shared with us that I want to share with you.
- our country now spends $2.92 trillion on health care costs
- 78% of healthcare expenditures are for management of chronic disease
- 2/3 of all diseases are lifestyle related
Take home points which we all know intuitively... but have lots of stats and research to back it up include:
- modifying lifestyle choices can prevent/alleviate disease, death, and health care cost
- it makes a difference for physicians to counsel on lifestyle changes
Therefore, I plan to make be more intentional in counseling my patients on these lifestyle changes. The challenge will be to do so in the time constraints of the clinic model we are currently under. It is stressful enough trying to stay on time and minimize patient wait time while delivering empathetic and thorough medical care. I can only imagine the volume of patients we have to see per work day increasing as more folks get access to health care insurance with "ObamaCare". Nevertheless... try we shall.
So the three key areas to modify one's lifestyle for positive health outcomes are:
- Physical Activity
- Stress Management
I'll expound on these in the next few posts.