Updated: May 28, 2020
Written by Toni Sperlbaum
The American Heart Association (AHA) states that 1 in 3 women will die from a heart related incident. They also are 11% less likely to receive bystander CPR than their male counterparts. February is Heart Health Month, with “Go Red For Women” being the AHA’s movement to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
February’s focus provides a great opportunity for organizations to promote heart health to both their male and female employees. There are MANY ways for you to do this, most free or low cost. Here are our top 3
Promote and Celebrate National Go Red for Women Day (Friday, February 1) Have a photo contest and encourage your staff to wear red! You can even have awards for best red accessories, most red overall, best decorated workspace, and more. Don’t forget to post your #GoRed photos on your organization’s social media pages and @Health Plan Advocate. We will feature your organization on our sites too! What a FUN way to show your customers and employees your commitment to wellness.
Host a Lunch & Learn on Heart Disease There are many organizations (HPA included!) who can do an educational seminar on preventing heart disease and learning the signs of a heart attack. There are also a variety of CPR and AED classes available through organizations like The American Red Cross that could save a life. Also consider hosting free and open blood pressure checks for your employees. Education is essential!
Host a Heart Healthy Potluck: Red foods, healthy foods, sugar free beverages and healthier desserts. Decorate the table with hearts and don’t forget the red plates and cups! The AHA’s Heart Check Recipe Guidelines would be perfect to send out as a guide for what is considered healthy.
Heart Healthy Testimonials: Do a call for testimonials from your workforce. Is anyone a heart disease survivor who is willing to tell their story? Celebrate their life! Has anyone made heart healthy changes? Lost weight, stopped smoking, ran a race, or similar? Feature them! We learn best from others’ experiences and we get inspired by their successes. Feature these stories in a newsletter, on your intranet, on a cork board in the break room, an Eboard, etc. Better yet, if your CEO or executive and middle leaders have stories, focus on them. Middle and upper management’s involvement in wellness is essential to your program’s success. You can even have a photo contest of their heart healthy activities!
Heart Healthy Scavenger Hunt: Around the lunch hour, come up with a quiz of 10 questions and post the answers somewhere throughout your facility so they have to walk around and search for the answers to your quiz, while getting some steps in! The quiz can consist of questions like “#1. What is a healthy blood pressure level?” and they have to find the “#1” posted on a wall or on the floor somewhere with the answer of “<120/80”. You can find more helpful stats here.
Take advantage of the opportunity (you have ALL of February to do it!). Just a little bit of planning ahead can get your employees excited and having FUN all while learning and bringing awareness to the dangers of heart disease.