Did you know February is American Heart Month? We’ll start with the bad news first: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. The good news, though, is that the risk of heart disease can be significantly lowered by making healthier choices for cardiovascular health. So how can employers help this effort? Keep reading for 5 ways to encourage your employees to make healthier choices.
1. CPR, First Aid and AED Training
OSHA recommends that a minimum of one employee be trained in CPR, First Aid and AED for every 24 employees in an organization. Employees who work off-site are not factored into that recommendation, so it may be necessary to train additional employees or host several trainings. The more employees who are trained, the better the chance someone can be saved in the event of an emergency.
2. Health Screens
Incorporating health screening into training that’s already planned for makes it an easier initiative to implement. In addition to a blood pressure check and screening for high cholesterol, a health screen can include Tetanus booster shots, hearing testing, or any other valuable screening procedures that may be relevant to your workplace. Consulting with and inviting your health insurance provider can make the most of these events.
3. “Stretch and Flex” Programs
Based on the specific duties and physical demands of your employees, create a program that gets their blood moving throughout the day. These programs can be fun and a nice way for employees to take a little break from their workday. Regular stretches can help to reduce workers’ compensation losses, and the movements can be targeted to the specific issues which cause the most claims in your industry.
4. Healthier Food
When your workplace caters lunch or provides snacks, consider offering heart-healthy options. Sure, fruits, veggies and yogurt are great, but they are also perishable. Consider other longer-lasting snacks too, like nuts, jerky, dried fruit or trail mix.
5. Company Athletics
Consider getting the whole company involved in athletic activity. Employers can start a company basketball, softball or bowling team, for example. If your workforce is too small or a team sport isn’t your company’s forte, get a group together for general fitness classes. Get the blood pumping, and boost morale and encourage camaraderie at the same time!