As American Heart Month comes to an end, we wanted to review the key insights that we’ve highlighted over these heart healthy four weeks:
- We provided an overview for AHM, noting that heart health is a key component of any well-run workplace wellness program. Further, such programs can help employees with elevated risk of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, as well as help reduce health care cost for employers.
- We recognized National Wear Red Day, the day to wear red — and heighten the focus on heart disease risks among women.
- We outlined how a well-run workplace wellness program can help individuals set goals for American Heart Month.
- We noted that our continuing recognition of American Heart Month marks a good time to emphasize the role that a well-run workplace wellness program can have in helping people stop smoking.
- We reported that age should not be a barrier, highlighting a study that shows exercise at midlife helps reduce heart disease.
Insights: Stress, Diet, and Starting Now
- We focused on stress: Managing stress is a key part of any well-run workplace wellness program. And as part of American Heart Month, the American Heart Association has outlined “How Reducing Stress Can Save Your Life.”
- We focused on diet: As part of American Heart Month, the American Heart Association offers “Lunch Ideas for Work: Heart-Healthy Options.”
- We offered more detail on heart healthy eating habits, noting a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and titled “Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults” that concludes: “Higher intake of a plant-based diet index rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk, whereas a plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk.”
- We outlined the increased health costs involved, highlighting a Cornell University study published in Science News : “Obesity drives U.S. health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state.”
- We also noted that to help one’s heart, there’s no time like the present: While managing obesity is key to managing heart disease (among other factors), it’s important to start sooner rather than later.