A- A+

Lookout: 3 Major Conditions Affecting Your Millennial Employees

Lookout Health

A quick scroll through any of your favorite social media sites, and you’ll see several healthy lifestyle influencers — likely a millennial — sharing clean-eating recipes, workouts and more.

It’s no secret that millennials are focused on healthy living more than any other generation. But even with all this focus on health and well-being, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are one of the unhealthiest generations — especially when it comes to their Generation X counterparts.

According to a recent Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® (BCBS) Health of America Report®, once a millennial hits age 27, their health begins to decline. In fact, the report finds that 6 of the top 10 conditions affecting millennials are behavioral health conditions, which impact mental and emotional well-being. And, 8 of the top 10 conditions saw double-digit increases.

Top 3 Conditions Affecting DSM Millennials

Millennials living in Greater Des Moines (DSM) are experiencing a higher prevalence of health conditions that lead to reduced quality of life and life expectancy. Take a look at the top three conditions affecting millennials in DSM and suggestions for how to help address this epidemic in your workplace.

Major Depression

DSM millennials face higher rates of depression compared to the national average. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression alone costs $200 million in lost workdays nationally. Here’s how you can help.

Employee Assistance Programs

Offer employee assistance programs, a free and confidential service for employees dealing with work or personal issues.

Employer Consulting/Well-being Programs

Add employer consulting or well-being programs to support creating an environment within your workplace that focuses on the six elements of well-being.

Virtual Visits

Give virtual visit services a try. Your employees can connect with a board-certified therapist to cope with depression, relationship issues, workplace stress and more — all from the comfort of their mobile phone.


Employees struggling with hyperactivity are more likely to change jobs, hold multiple positions simultaneously and experience lower job satisfaction. Iowa falls within the top five-states with the highest treatment rate for hyperactivity. Here’s how you can help.

Flexible Schedules

Allow flexible schedules. Seventy-seven percent of millennials say flexible work hours would make them more productive.[1] Flexible schedules can lead to happier employees and fewer cases of burnout and stress.

Agile Workspaces

Allow employees to change their workplace location, give freedom to get up and move, and take breaks.


Encourage open communication and feedback. According to Gallup, millennials are 44 percent more engaged when their managers provide consistent communication and feedback.


It is estimated that employees with cardiovascular disease cost their employers an extra $1,100 each year in lost productivity. In the last year alone, Iowa has seen a 14% increase in adults classified as obese — a major cause of hypertension according to America’s Health Rankings. Here’s how you can help.

Encourage Preventative Care

Nearly 70% of deaths in America stem from chronic disease and illness.[2] Educate your employees on the importance of preventive care and provide easy access to any available resources.

Emphasize the Patient-Provider Relationship

According to the Health of America Report, only 68% of millennials have a primary care provider. By having a patient-provider relationship, your employees can save money, get coordinated care, and make fewer trips to the ER or urgent care. In fact, Wellmark data attributes a savings of almost 13% per member when a primary care provider relationship exists.

Offer On-Site Wellness Classes/Facilities

Placing an emphasis on exercising (any amount is better than none) or attending a guided meditation class can help ease stress and increase happiness and productivity in your workplace.

[View the top-10 conditions affecting millennials]

Why Millennials Are Important to the Future of Your Business

By 2020, it’s forecasted that millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. For the health of your employees, and the sake of your company’s bottom line, start finding ways you can incorporate a holistic approach to health and well-being benefits.

Want to stay in-the-know about millennials in the workplace? Visit Wellmark.com/BlueAtWork.

Looking for tools to grow your organization's health and wellness program? Download a GetActive DSM Workplace Wellness Toolkit to take the next step in making Greater Des Moines (DSM) the happiest and healthiest place to live for all.

[1] Bentley University, 2017

[2] American Cancer Society

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® and its subsidiaries provide health coverage to over 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Wellmark is a part of a trusted national network that insures more than 100 million people - nearly one-third of all Americans.