Despite overwhelming evidence and information available regarding what we can do to reduce both risk factors and the incidence of heart disease, statistics across the board remain high. For example:
- 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes)
- Someone dies from heart disease every 7 minutes
- Heart disease and stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $20.9 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity (Heart and Stroke Foundation)
The good news is that lifestyle is the best defense against heart disease. It’s the way we eat, how much alcohol we consume, how much we exercise, how we deal with stress and the effects of environmental toxins that are the primary, underlying causes of heart disease.
More good news is that the workplace can play a significant role in regard to its impact on motivating and supporting employees to adopt healthier habits.
What can you do?
1. Encourage employees to:
- Know their critical numbers: waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body weight
- Regularly participate in aerobic activity (a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity is recommended)
- Consume at least the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day (7 – 10 servings per day is recommended)
2. Provide an online platform such as Sprout where employees can:
- Track any of the above activities in addition to other important preventative lifestyle habits such as participation in hobbies, volunteer work, giving up an unhealthy habit such as smoking etc.
- Join groups around common interests and goals where they can receive and provide support, share ideas and tips and even plan and create events via the Events calendar
- Set goals and monitor the results in real-time for added motivation
- Get inspired by others via social streams and a Leaderboard
3. Organize company Competitions/Challenges:
- Challenges and competitions are a fun way to engage employees in healthy behaviours while at the same time building relationships and connections
- These can be as simple as climbing the most flights of stairs within a week to a more global competition such as the Sprout to Sochi Olympic Team Challenge that Sprout clients are currently gearing up for
In addition to Sprout providing an employee wellness solution to implement all of the above suggestions and more; it is also simple, scalable and time-efficient to manage, making it a highly sought after wellness solution for corporations world-wide.
February is Heart Health Month. Request a demo today and get to the heart of your employee’s wellness!
Lauren Jawno is a Health and Wellness Expert for Sprout, as well as an Account Manager. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Published Author and Speaker with over 15 years of professional experience. Lauren enjoys traveling, reading and power-walking, but being an avid tennis player she is most in the zone when “crushing” tennis balls, winter and summer!