Written by: Kendall Rosen, CFW Senior Health Fitness Program Manager
As February comes to a close, it’s a great time to assess what you are offering your employees to promote ongoing heart health and longevity. Maybe you captured a great group photo for Wear Red Day. Maybe you’ve sent out some informational resources via email about ways to eat healthier or increase activity. Are your efforts promoting sustainable changes or is there something more you can do?
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, accounting for approximately 25% of all deaths and costing over 200 billion dollars in health care services each year. Prevention is critical. Maintaining a healthy corporate culture is an effort that pulls together resources from across your company. Your HR Team/Health Unit, your Cafeteria, and your CFW-Managed Fitness Center Team can all work together to address the three major risk factors of smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, and not getting enough exercise.
Above: CFW Team Leaders Amanda Goltz and Jamie Schoepke promote heart healthy culture for employees at a CFW managed site with education on prevention and lifestyle.
If your company has not already been established as a smoke-free workplace, your HR team can work to define and communicate what that means to employees and update any necessary policies. In addition, resources should be made available for smoking cessation. Most insurance providers have options for employees that can be featured in regular communication. Team CFW can also help in this effort by organizing employees who are ready to quit smoking into accountability groups and by teaching ways to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.
The office cafeteria is a great place to encourage heart health efforts year-round. One of the easiest ways to start promoting healthy eating is to provide options that are in line with the Mediterranean Diet, which can reduce heart disease risk by nearly 30%. This way of eating is rich in olive oil, and focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish as the majority of one’s everyday diet. Thinking of healthful eating as less of a diet and more of a way of life can help create positive behavior change. Aside from providing nutritious food, the café is a great place to advertise other available resources. CFW Personal Trainers who are certified through organizations like ACE, NASM, or ACSM are all qualified to provide nutrition consultations to further assist in ongoing heart health initiatives. The Team can meet with employees one on one to review food journals and make suggestions on ways to improve upon eating habits and focus on macronutrient ratios.
Above: A spread of heart healthy foods presented by CFW Team Leaders at the culmination of a week-long heart health challenge offered to a client employee population.
Through their programming, CFW-Managed Fitness Centers address ways to counteract the negative effects of stress as well as the many conditions of metabolic syndrome—a combination of abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose. When presented together, these conditions dramatically increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even type 2 diabetes. Services like personalized exercise programs, group exercise, fitness assessments, educational outreach, and movement-based incentive programs all work in concert to reduce risk factors.
Above: Members at a CFW managed facility enjoy a heart themed boot camp class to inspire physical activity and promote regular exercise as an important habit for life-long heart health and disease prevention.
By delivering the CFW Solution, our Team Leaders help address myriad heart health concerns by connecting employees with each other to create strong support groups, providing nutrition consultations within scope of practice, offering a variety of opportunities to add more movement into their everyday lives, and giving employees an avenue to recharge and focus their energy on activities that will help alleviate stress and create a greater sense of wellbeing.