How Healthy Habits Keep Your Healthcare Costs in Check | Revere Health

It’s no secret that healthcare can be expensive, but many people don’t know that their personal health habits can have a big influence on their healthcare costs—for better and for worse.

The average American spends over $10,000 a year on healthcare, and many spend much more than that depending on their health status. You can keep those costs in check by practicing healthy habits and making smart lifestyle choices.

It’s no secret that healthcare can be expensive, but many people don’t know that their personal health habits can have a big influence on their healthcare costs—for better and for worse.

The average American spends over $10,000 a year on healthcare, and many spend much more than that depending on their health status. You can keep those costs in check by practicing healthy habits and making smart lifestyle choices.

The Cost of Unhealthy Behaviors

Treating preventable diseases caused by unhealthy habits costs $1.5 trillion each year. So what are those unhealthy habits? One of the most common is smoking. In fact, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable preventable death, killing over 1,300 people every day. Other unhealthy behaviors include minimal or no physical activity, a poor diet, non-compliance to medication and insufficient sleep.

Physical Activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inactive adults spend $1,400 more annually on their healthcare than active adults. The CDC also estimates just a 10% weight loss can result in thousands of dollars worth of savings in lifetime healthcare costs.

A few tips to add physical activity to your daily routine:

  • Walk two minutes for every hour you spend sitting
  • Do a 10-minute workout before showering
  • Perform an exercise activity during commercials
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible

Diet

People who are food insecure (meaning they lack access to nutritious food) are more likely to develop health complications later in life like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and others. Food insecurity results in an average increase of healthcare costs by $1,800 per year.

A few tips to improve your diet:

  • Plan your meals each week
  • Limit distractions during meal time
  • Make dietary changes slowly
  • Make a goal to eat at restaurants less frequently
  • Keep a food journal and note where there’s room for improvement

Treatment Compliance

Adherence to treatment recommended by your doctor, particularly prescription medication, is critical to keeping your healthcare costs in check. In fact, between $100 and $300 billion of avoidable healthcare costs are attributed to medication non-compliance. This is because being noncompliant with your medication leads to worse health outcomes and the need for more healthcare services, both of which increase costs.

A few tips to adhere to your medication:

  • Associate taking your medicine as part of your daily routine (like right after brushing your teeth)
  • Set reminders in your smartphone or leave yourself notes
  • Use a pillbox
  • Track your medication in a spreadsheet or calendar, and mark when you’ve taken them

Sleep

The CDC considers poor sleep a public health problem because it increases the likelihood of motor vehicle or workplace accidents, poor performance at work or school, and your risk of serious health problems. People with poor sleep may experience extra healthcare costs as high as $3,500 compared to those who get adequate sleep.

A few tips for better sleep:

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • Avoid heavy meals and exercise right before bed
  • Avoid non-sleeping activities, like TV watching, in the bedroom
  • Create a peaceful sleeping environment

Talk to your doctor about your health habits, and remember to be honest and open. If you are struggling with any aspect of healthy behavior, your doctor may be able to provide some guidance.

 

The staff at the Wellness Institute offers a variety of services including exercise and nutrition education. Our providers can help you increase productivity, improve general health and manage chronic conditions. We have a registered dietitian, physician and health education specialist on staff.

Sources:

“Costly Habits: What $1.5 Trillion Looks Like.” BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.

http://blog.bcbsnc.com/2014/06/costly-habits-1-5-trillion-looks-like/

“192 Healthy Habits.” Develop Good Habits.

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/healthy-habits/

“107 Healthy Habits and Behaviors for a Healthier Lifestyle.” Feel Happiness.

http://feelhappiness.com/107-healthy-habits-for-a-healthier-lifestyle/

“Encourage Healthy Habits.” ClinicianToday.

http://cliniciantoday.com/encourage-healthy-habits/

“Why Paying for Nutrition Saves Money on Health Care.” Time.

http://time.com/4962475/nutrition-snap-health-care/

“Why Sleep Matters: The Economical Costs of Insufficient Sleep.” National Institutes of Health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5627640/

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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