As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter daily life, it is important to understand how small changes we make now can have a positive impact farther down the road. While no one can definitively say they are immune from the virus, there are certain groups who are likely more susceptible to it. Some chronic conditions, such as severe obesity, diabetes, and liver disease might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

For example, individuals with severe obesity are more likely to suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a COVID-19 complication. It can also “cause difficulties with a doctor’s ability to provide respiratory support for seriously ill patients,” the CDC says.

Obesity was also found to be the leading chronic factor in New York City hospitalizations for COVID-19, according to research from NYU Grossman School and the NYU Langone Health center.

When looking at 4,103 patients with COVID-19, 71.9% of patients had at least one chronic disease, researchers said.

“[I]t is notable that the chronic condition with the strongest association with critical illness was obesity, with a substantially higher odds ratio than any cardiovascular or pulmonary disease,” the team wrote.

Another study found that 88% of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the New York City area had at least two chronic conditions. Additionally, only 6% of patients had no underlying health conditions.

This is one more reason to ensure that your corporate wellbeing program accounts for individuals with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), which is a combination of risk factors (i.e. obesity and high blood pressure) that increase the likelihood of suffering from costly chronic conditions. But how can you implement the right program that guarantees results for each individual employee?

Helping employees with chronic conditions

We have known that individuals with co-morbidities are more susceptible to certain viruses and diseases, and this has been further shown with the COVID-19 pandemic. But when a company supports the future of its employees by addressing co-morbidities, it is ensuring that its employees will be in a better position to lead healthier and longer lives.

Co-morbidities, including MetS, can be addressed through lifestyle and behavior modification, which is where Zillion can be an ideal partner. Through programs like RestoreHealth and RestoreResilience, we can provide companies with the necessary tools to assist their employees in making small steps toward big changes.

RestoreResilience is a digital mental and physical health program that focuses on stress, anxiety, and sleep. As many organizations have veered off of the “normal” path of work, this program offers one on one support for members, helping them regain control of their lives.

Zillion’s flagship program, RestoreHealth, targets individuals with MetS – those 30% of employees who account for 70% of annual healthcare costs. The digital program pairs smart technology with individualized coaching to nudge individuals toward making small lifestyle adjustments to create long-lasting, positive change.

COVID-19 does not to equal the end of workplace wellness programs. Rather, it shows why they are needed now more than ever. Whichever of Zillion’s programs you choose, the results are real and will help employees embark on their new stage of healthy living.