blood pressure workplace wellness

Role for Workplace Wellness in Addressing Blood Pressure Health Questions

Yesterday we reported on the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association’s set of new high blood pressure guidelines that offer a lower definition of hypertension.

The ACC writes: “High blood pressure should be treated earlier with lifestyle changes and in some patients with medication – at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90 – based on new ACC and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure.”

What role can Workplace Wellness play? We’ve previously noted many ways that well-run workplace wellness can help address blood pressure concerns:

For example, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reports on a diet that is “designed to lower blood pressure also reduces risk of kidney disease.”

It’s not a “diet” in the common sense; it’s more a common sense approach to eating right. This is the type of insights that can come from dietitians, including those who are part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

The diet is called “DASH for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, [and] was designed to help reduce blood pressure, but research has shown it to be effective in preventing a series of other chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease.”

Can workplace wellness programs help drive specific health outcomes? One study looked at the correlation between the programs and blood pressure, namely: “To evaluate the impact of a 6-year workplace health promotion program on employees’ blood pressure.”

The study, “Impact of a Workplace Health Promotion Program on Employees’ Blood Pressure in a Public University,” took place in Malaysia. It notes that “Workplace health programs have been discussed frequently in recent years as a means to protect health and improve productivity among employees. Many workplace health programs have been shown to offer benefits such as reduced sickness absence, reduced medical costs, improved productivity, produced happier, healthier and more loyal employees and lowered disease prevalence.”

The conclusion: “The results of this study showed some improvement in blood pressure among employees who participated in a low-intensity workplace health promotion program. This suggests that repeat engagement in long-term workplace health promotion program provides an opportune setting to reduce hypertension risk among employees. Activities such as periodic health screening can serve as the first step to identify employees who are at risk while health promotion and intervention programs can help to increase awareness and encourage adoption of healthy lifestyles among employees.”