Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a unique demographic of ethnic diversity and unfortunately a higher than average rate of obesity and its related problems. Because of the locations uniqueness, a health and wellness speaker needs to be familiar with the region, the culture, its population’s health problems and viable solutions.
There are 6 specific considerations that should be addressed by the speaker/presenter:
1) Milwaukee has a harsh climate making outdoor physical activity difficult at times. The need for regular exercise is an important component of wellness, so the presenter needs to have viable alternatives for dealing with the weather.
2) The people of Milwaukee are accustomed to foods high in saturated fats such as fish fries, French fries, custard, and sausage. Alcohol is consumed in higher than average quantities, usually in the form of beer. Speakers need to be aware of these customs and work at modifying them not eliminating them.
3) The education level of Milwaukeeans is higher than average so even though the region has the 2 above noted complications, the people are generally understanding of the health problems they face and willing to learn alternatives.
4) The region’s population has a long history of adapting to change politically and economically. Lifestyle changes will be more easily considered if this proud history is mentioned and complimented.
5) Competitive sports are highly valued and in Milwaukee such as baseball, bowling, golf, and basketball. Participation should be encouraged and highlighted as a viable source of physical activity.
6) The Milwaukee population has a well ingrained conservative demeanor. Radical or unconventional lifestyle changes need to be introduced cautiously and judiciously.
In our current era, health and wellness education needs to focus on self care methods because of the difficulty in accessing the conventional medical system. This difficulty is economic resulting from high deductibles and co-payments of health insurance.
Self care methods include regular exercise, better food choices, stress management, and structural balance (posture and stretching). These instructions need to be kept lighthearted and interesting, emphasizing the benefits to an individual’s well being. Heavy quoting of statistics and research is discouraged because most audiences find it boring.
One item of research that is interesting to corporate and industry leaders is that which shows each dollar spent on wellness for employees returns $3.85 due to the decreased absenteeism and increased productivity by employees.
Thus, health and wellness education programs for the public in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is unique and economically worthwhile when the speaker/presenter is familiar with the region..