February is American Heart Month
Feb 9, 2021
Heart disease awareness is celebrated annually each February. The American Heart Association states that 80% of heart disease can be prevented, with changes to health and diet.
Many companies today have adopted heart health programs into their organizations. By instituting employee wellness programs that focus on overall wellness, diet guidelines and exercise programs, a workplace can help in the battle against heart disease.
Did you know?
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death worldwide
785,000 Americans have a heart attack each year
58% of people put no effort into improving their heart health
83: of people believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything
(source: American Heart Association)
Prevention starts with education. Employers can help institute change by implementing heart health incentive and awareness programs. Prevention can become part of your company culture.
What kinds of things can you do to help get your employees on a heart healthy program?
Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. It damages arteries which can then lead to heart attack or stroke. But starting a smoke-free workplace policy should also come with a smoking cessation program.
Offer Heart Healthy Meals and Snacks
Whether it’s a workplace cafeteria, vending machine or company potluck, it’s important to make heart healthy options available to your team. According to Million Hearts, 90% of Americans consume too much sodium, which increases their risk for high blood pressure – a major contributor to heart disease and stroke (source: Forbes). Avoid the salty snacks, deep fried goodies and focus on more fruits, vegetables and proteins.
Develop Heart Healthy Meetings and Breaks
Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. The heart is a muscle and needs exercise, just like the rest of the body. By developing walking meetings, group walks on lunches or breaks, you can help your employees increase their activity level. So many jobs these days cause people to be sedentary. Movement increases blood flow to the heart, decreasing the chances of dangerous heart related events.
Offer a Gym Reimbursement Program
By offering a monthly stipend or reimbursement program, you are allowing an opportunity for people to join a gym that may not due to cost concerns. You may pay for those costs up front, but your organization will reap the benefits in lower insurance premiums when you have a smaller amount of health related claims.
Implementing a wellness program is no small feat, and many times, your employees need an extra push in the right direction. That is why many workplaces choose rewards and incentives programs that recognize health accomplishments like weight loss, blood pressure and regular check ups. If you are interested in starting a workplace wellness program and are interested in what kinds of products to reward your heart healthy employees with, reach out to our team! We are experts in wellness rewards and gifting programs.