World Health Day - Workplaces, take action!

Trent Seth 21 September, 2020

This year, World Heart Day is being held on September 29. This campaign aims to create awareness for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the number one cause of death on the planet. It aims to educate people and drive action to assist with reducing risk factors associated with CVD.

There are many causes and risk factors associated with CVD, such as:
- smoking,
- diabetes,
- high blood pressure,
- obesity,
- air pollution, and
- rare and neglected conditions.

With this knowledge, it brings about many options for change to an individual’s situation, but ideally, this is done on a larger scale with significantly more support. Workplaces are an ideal setting for this.

Workplaces should invest in the heart health of their employees by improving knowledge and driving action in 3 primary areas:

  1. Healthy diet,
  2. Physical activity, and
  3. Quitting smoking/tobacco use.

There are many projects a workplace can run to improve these categories, but to enact long lasting lifestyle changes among employees, there needs to be a long-term plan. A workplace needs to understand their employees’ situation first, whether through health screens, questionnaires, or both. Once established, a tailored plan should be made with health professionals and workplace representatives. Having employee engagement and management support, allows for a supportive environment for change to occur. Having an onsite health professional presence, assists with ensuring the above categories and the overall plan are being enacted in safe and sustainable ways.

One of the biggest benefits of enacting these healthy changes at a workplace, is the ripple effect for the community and society as a whole. If done correctly, many employees will practise these lifestyle changes outside the workplace, thus inspiring and encouraging family and friends, who then do this in turn. Workplaces will also directly benefit, as employees are happier, healthier, more productive, less absent, and willing to support a workplace that supports them. Employ Health – Health Hubs have been carrying out this process with partners throughout Australia and New Zealand, if you require assistance with your journey, please reach out.