By 2030, cardiovascular disease is projected to kill 23 million people each year. This is why the American Heart Association has started American Heart Month, annually observed in the United States during February – while everyone is focused on the heart as a representation of love. To compliment boxes of chocolates and fancy Valentine’s Day dates, Americans are encouraged to educate themselves on cardiovascular disease and take the steps to improve their heart health.
There are ways to embrace American Heart Month in the workplace as well. And it’s not just for the sake of the annual ‘holiday’ – there are many reasons promoting wellness in the workplace is a good idea. Better office health leads to:
- More productive employees
- An extra positive office atmosphere
- Better employee health insurance rates
But how do you encourage personnel to live healthier? Lucky for you we have some solutions!
Get the word out
The first step to improving office health is to spread awareness. It’s National Wear Red Day® on February, 5 2016. Cardiovascular disease is often associated with men, however 1 in 3 women die because of it (along with stroke), making it a leading cause of death. So, spread the word around the workplace, encourage everyone to wear red, and take photos of the event to share on your company social networks (using the #GoRed hashtag). You can even set up a donation fund for employees, and inspire them to match a certain amount. Think of it as 2 holidays in 1!
Actions speak louder than words
Spreading awareness is fine, however sometimes people need a little push to get them going in a healthy direction. The modern office often provides free snacks and drinks to their employees (at least they should). Why not provide them healthy treats? Check out Quill’s selection of healthy snacks for some great ideas.
Taking it even further, you can reward your workers with wellness-inspiring gifts. This will improve employee satisfaction by making them feel appreciated. The enhancements to their health will make them a more effective worker overall. Something like a fitness tracker is a great (and trendy) gift that would accomplish just that.
Promote health with culture
It’s possible to sprinkle in healthy living into your workplace culture as well. There are many great team-building activities the office can do together that also helps enhance a healthy lifestyle:
- Habitat for Humanity – You can build a house as a group. This will not only help the needy but it will get everyone outdoors, building, exercising, and growing as a team.
- Healthy Potluck – If it’s free, it’s for me – is the mantra of almost anyone. Hosting regular employee potlucks helps improve moods, brings coworkers together, and with a healthy twist, can promote a better lifestyle. Check out some of Café Quill’s Fall Recipes (that can be used anytime of the year) for some healthy potluck dish ideas.
- Sports Teams – Setting up inter-office sports teams is another way to inspire a healthy lifestyle. Joining a multi-company league to compete also helps your employees better learn how to work together and be a better team.
- Build a Healthy Office – Aside from the aforementioned healthy snacks, there are a multitude of ways to make the office more fitness-forward. Providing exercise balls as options for seating, giving workers access to an offsite (or onsite if you can pay for it!) gym, and making educational materials available will help inspire employees to live healthier lifestyles. A small library of healthy books can help teach workers how to make positive changes. Quick Check Food Guide for Heart Health by Linda McDonald is perfect for this objective, and will even help you come up with some ideas for the potluck!
- Remove Stress – One of the leading causes of heart disease is stress. There are many ways to help reduce stress, and most of the other tips covered in this article will help. However, by better managing workloads you can prevent a common source of stress from emerging. Teaching your employees how to overcome procrastination will set them up for success and avoid nerve-wracking situations.
These are just a few ways you can get your staff thinking about heart health and inspire wellness in the workplace. It’s a good start to begin encouraging healthy changes not just for American Heart Month, but every month of the year.