Heart health is a vital aspect of well-being. Heart disease is not only important for its morbidity but its effects on company productivity and profitability. If businesses understand the value of engaging in employee wellness, they can help workers to develop more heart-healthy behaviors.
The Workplace Impact of Heart Disease
Heart disease costs up to $200 billion a year. Both large and small businesses have seen healthcare insurance premiums rise drastically over the last 10 years, and by 2035, the cost from cardiovascular disease is expected to exceed $1 trillion per year.
Employees who have heart problems must take extra days off work and are typically less active because of the severity of their problems. Death from cardiac diseases decreases the total performance of any organization. On average, an employee suffering from cardiovascular disease is estimated to have cost their employer almost 60 hours, and a productivity loss of more than $1,100.
Many heart disease cases are preventable, and workplace programs can affect not only your bottom line but your employees’ lifestyles. If you’re launching a corporate health and fitness program or trying to broaden existing wellness programs, here are measures that can help improve cardiac health for all your employees.
Promote a Healthy Diet
Studies have shown that a heart-healthy diet can minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reducing the amount of salt, sugar, and saturated fats are a good starting point.
Healthy snack options can be fruits, bags of nuts, granola bars, sunflower seeds, and low-fat popcorn. Order grilled chicken, green salads, or subs on whole-grain bread for catered lunches and events.
Encourage Regular Exercise
Help workers get more active during work. Start contests to see who can walk the most steps in a day. Promote local charity events like marathons or walks (virtual work too) to raise funds. Designate another room in the office to be an office gym. If this is not possible, find local gyms to give discounted memberships to employees.
Foster a Low-Stress Working Environment
Stress raises the risk of coronary artery illness and high blood pressure. On-site massages can help to decrease discomfort and lessen muscle aches. Yoga or meditation classes will help workers relax and de-stress. Free or reduced-cost therapy services may aid employees with handling both job and personal stressors.
Reward Annual Physicals
Annual physicals will help avoid heart failure or detect heart disease early for at-risk personnel. Give free screenings to promote frequent screenings on-site or at a local health center. Give incentives such as a health care premium, discounts to home gym gear, or even an additional paid day off. Have a procedure in place to help staff follow through with any recommendation from a doctor.
Plan Wellness Fairs/Programs
Hold wellness fairs to encourage workers to check their BMI, level of cholesterol, blood pressure, and more since many do not visit the doctor for their annual check-ups. These activities do not have to be restricted to Heart Health month of and can be offered all year round.
Focusing on heart health education and encouraging workers to live a healthier lifestyle for their heart is critical. You can help people live longer and more fulfilling lives by offering your employees the knowledge and support they need to get heart safe.