Heart Health Month: what’s up in your workplace?

Earlier this month we blogged about loneliness, which serves to remind all of us about the importance of our relationships with the people in our lives, including co-workers.

But what about the functional health of those pumping organs of ours? As we embrace Total Worker Health®, we recognize the  many circumstances and conditions impacting our health – which directly influences our safety, well-being and productivity. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reminds us on their Cardiovascular Disease and Occupational Factors Topic Page about relationships between occupation, work tasks, and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and worldwide – and it continues to show up significantly as the cause of many deaths of Oregon workers while at work.

Here’s a few ideas for our organizations to positively impact heart health in our workplaces:

  1. Address the topic in safety and/or wellness meetings. Try out our Health Impacts Safety meeting guide: What’s my heart got to do with it?
  2. Advocate for healthier food and drinks at meetings, conferences, events and in onsite food services.
  3. Provide fruits and vegetables onsite either through farmer market opportunities, or onsite deliveries.
  4. Support heart healthy, safe commuting for employees.
  5. Recognize the impact of stress and negative personal interactions on heart health, and advocate policies and cultures of respect and kindness.
  6. Financially, administratively, and culturally support healthy exercise for employees and families.
  7. Work with your human resource team to ensure all activities, guidance and policies support fairness, confidentiality and good practice rules and guidelines.
  8. Encourage safe environments to generate employee-driven ideas, engagement and interactions for activities, walking meetings, and reducing the sedentary nature of work.
  9. Provide education to employees and families on healthy behaviors, and CPR and AED use.

What other things is your organization doing to promote heart health?

SAIF Corporation: Nutrition and Exercise
American Heart Association resources
OccHealthSci Resource Directory: Topic Total Worker Health<Best Practices<Diet Exercise & Sleep