February is American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA). What better way to celebrate than by educating employees about the risks associated with heart disease! This is a great time for companies and organizations to focus on employee wellness programs and the importance of creating heart-healthy individuals in the workplace.
Fact: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds. Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet 80% of instances are preventable.
The most common warning signs of heart disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations (irregular heart beats, or a "flip-flop" feeling in your chest)
- A faster heartbeat
- Weakness or dizziness
You can make a difference in your heart health by making better decisions every day. These are just a few simple lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of heart disease:
- Get active
- Eat healthy
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage cholesterol and blood pressure
- Drink alcohol in moderation
Employers have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to their employees about the risks of heart disease during American Heart Month. This time of year, there are wealth of resources available through the American Heart Association. Here are a few ideas to help companies promote heart health in the workplace:
- Celebrate National Wear Red Day – Encourage employees to wear red on February 5th Some employers also use this as a fundraising opportunity by allowing employees to wear jeans with their red for a small donation to AHA.
- Invite others to join you on a short walk around lunch time or during a break.
- Host a Lunch & Learn seminar on heart health. You could even include a cooking demonstration that features a heart healthy recipe.
- Schedule a CPR training event
- Use social media, company newsletters and email to spread the word on heart health.
As a member of the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. committee, I have seen first-hand the impact that heart health awareness has on individuals, organizations and communities. If you’re interested in exploring how you can bring a wellness program that focuses on heart health to your workplace, give us a call at 800-399-6059.