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The Second Annual Fortune Brainstorm Health Is Live!

May 02, 2017

There are 168 hours in a week. Let’s figure that we spend 56 of those hours (eight hours a night) sleeping—I’m being generous here. That leaves us with 112 hours a week, in theory, when we’re awake.

Now subtract from that 4.3 hours a week of commuting time—think of those hours as zombie time—and another 2.5 hours a week or so of getting ready for work each morning. And we’re left with a bit over 105 hours of non-commuting, non-teeth-brushing/showering/primping hours of awake-time each week.

We spend about a third of that time working. (So far in 2017, the average U.S. worker in private employment has spent just over 34 hours a week on the job, not including overtime, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) And I’m just spitballing here—but I’m guessing that the subset of Americans who are faithful readers of Fortune's Brainstorm Health Daily newsletter devote a much larger share of their lives to working than that. I’ll even wager that a fair number of you would own up to being workaholics.

While that might seem good for the national productivity stats, there’s a problem: We spend a good deal of that work time hunched over computer screens, or on our feet doing repetitive chores, or on the road, maybe. We snack on junk food, eat at our desks, race through cafeteria meals, hook ourselves up to coffee or soda IVs. Too often, we’re tired, distracted, riding on fumes. That’s not good for productivity. And no, it’s not good for our health either.

So what to do about it? Is there any way to transform American workplaces so that they promote and support wellness rather than drain it? That, my friends, is one of the key topics we’ll discuss today on our opening day of Fortune Brainstorm Health in San Diego. (Please follow along with the conversation here—through our live-stream and extensive follow-up coverage.)

In truth, companies already spend a boatload (as much as $8 billion a year, by one estimate) on in-house wellness programs, offering everything from subsidized gym memberships to nutritional counseling. But as Fortune’s Erika Fry reported in March, there’s some doubt as to how effective many of those programs actually are. The undead workforce of America is still undead, it seems; health bills are still rising; and when many workers do join corporate wellness programs, that engagement often doesn’t last long.

This morning, we’ll tackle that issue head on—in what I’m expecting will be a fun, raucous conversation with the always-engaged Chip Bergh, the charismatic CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.; Dr. Nicholas Gettas, chief medical officer of Cigna—who has some very cool and thought-provoking ideas on this subject; Amy McDonough, VP and General Manager of Fitbit Group Health and Rick Valencia, president of Qualcomm Life—both of whom have great insights into the technologies that may shift the wellness paradigm; and a full roster of Brainstorm Health delegates to join the discussion.

Soon after that, in a session called “Moving Fast Amid The Flux,” we’ll explore how healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs can push forward with their investments and ambitious plans while Congress continues with its starts, stops, and feints on ACA-amending legislation. It’s a conversation that couldn’t be more timely.

I can’t go into all of the day’s sessions here—please do check out our agenda online. But it only gets more fun and wild as the day goes on—culminating with a rare, in-depth, sit-down interview with the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited for that.

Tune in on Fortune.com and be a part of this extraordinary gathering.

This essay appears in today's edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.

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