5 Ways for Employers to Promote Heart Health

Protect your team from the leading cause of death

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Over the years, Heart disease has become the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Accounting for approximately 1 out of every 4 deaths, it would be beneficial for employers to encourage employees to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle with heart health top of mind. Dr. Ron Goetzel, a senior scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Institutive for Health and Productivity Studies, admits that “there are a lot of things employers could be doing to encourage healthy habits.” At Nova Medicals Centers, we strive to provide the best health for employees and have compiled a list of how employers can help.

  1. Encourage a Healthy Diet
  • Provide healthy, nutrient-filled foods at special work events, potlucks, etc. Studies have shown that adopting a healthy diet can not only decrease the risk but even reverse cardiovascular damage that has already been done
  • Provide cooking workshops or recipes so employees are able to cook healthier meals at home
  • Have healthier snack options in vending machines and as treats
  • Limit alcoholic beverages at company sponsored events
  • Work with local grocery stores to provide discounts on fruits/vegetables for employees
  1. Encourage Physical Activity
  • Encourage physical activity so the heart can pump more blood. It is suggested that adults exercise for about 30 minutes every day for at least 5 days a week
  • Encourage employees to use the stairs rather than the elevator
  • If possible, build an onsite gym for employees to go when they get off work. If not, work with local fitness centers in the area to provide discounted memberships for employees
  • Find local events such as marathons or walks for employees that raise funds for patients with heart diseases
  • Create a competitive spirit and incentivize the movement for accountability
    • Make sure the incentives/rewards are consistent with heart health (Ex: Do not provide gift cards to fast food restaurants or all-you-can-eat buffets)
  • Allow employees to walk around and take breaks for fresh air and sunlight
  • Encourage a lifestyle, not just goals to reach by certain dates
  1. Provide a low-stress working environment
  • All work environments have some form of stress. Find the difference between a healthy stress environment and an overwhelming stress environment and make sure employees are not working beyond their means
  • Create stress management initiatives such as yoga classes or massage therapy to help decrease stress. It has been proven that mental health can directly affect physical health
  1. Plan Wellness Fairs/Programs
  • If possible, set up a Wellness program or collaborate with a wellness center nearby where employees can go for educational information about the importance of a healthy heart
  • Set up fairs to allow employees to check their BMI, cholesterol level, blood pressure, etc. as many do not go to the doctor for their yearly check-ups
  • Encourage employees to keep track of their own health
  • Provide training certification classes such as CPR, AED, or EMT for employees so they know what to do in emergency situations
  1. Encourage Smoking Cessation
  • The Surgeon General of the United States has issued a warning that smoking causes heart Disease, Lung Cancer, and a list of other life-threatening diseases
  • Try to encourage smokers to decrease their usage over a period of time while providing support throughout their journey
  • Have designated areas for employees who smoke with proper ventilation

Prevention is the best way to decrease chances of developing heart diseases and integrating health prevention into the company’s culture is an ingredient for increase company morale, employee retention, and overall happiness. Not only with these tips help workers to live longer, they are also financially beneficial to both the employer and employee.

At Nova Medical Centers, we specialize solely in Occupational Health. Our Onsite Services are used to help employers with their health-related employment processes from Pre-Employment testing to Corporate Health & Wellness fairs to HR & Safety Consulting. With over 48 facilities across Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana, we strive to provide the best care for America’s workforce.

Written by Oluchi Nwaobia

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