What are the best cardiovascular health programs?
From helping employees change their lifestyles to using the Wim Hof method, here are six answers to the question, “What are good cardiovascular health programs that an organization could offer their employees?”
- Health Screening
- Step Challenge
- Health Education Seminars
- Free Gym Membership
- Cycle to Work Program
- Guided Breathing
I would emphasize setting up a health screening section in your organization. Such as blood pressure checks and cholesterol tests, where employees can easily and conveniently identify potential health risks and take preventive measures to improve their cardiovascular health.
Regular health screenings help employees monitor their progress, change their lifestyles and show their commitment to their health and promote a culture of preventative health care.
One program that has shown significant promise is a company-wide step challenge. The company encourages employees to track their steps using wearable technology and creates friendly competition to see who can accumulate the most steps over a set period.
Not only does this encourage regular physical activity and keep people moving throughout the day, but it can also foster camaraderie and team-building.
Besides any program, it is important to cultivate a wellness culture in the workplace. Healthy habits like stretching or walking around during breaks, providing healthy snacks or meal options, and promoting a work-life balance can contribute to a healthier workforce.
Health Education Seminars
Educating employees on nutrition and the importance of healthy living—such as giving up smoking—can help many people realize the risk of their everyday habits and how they influence their health, especially cardiovascular health.
Companies can do this through seminars or general posters online and in-office to raise awareness.
They could also include a program that offers periodic heart screenings for their employees in the medical plan if your company has one.
Free Gym Membership
Providing a discounted or free gym membership to employees is a simple and efficient way to promote cardiovascular health.
Partnering with a local gym and encouraging employees to take advantage of the benefit gets everyone involved. Health initiatives, like a company weight-loss challenge, can further reward employees with prizes like an extra vacation or casual days, too.
Cycle to Work Program
Riding a bike ranks among the most effective, safe, and enjoyable modes of cardiovascular exercise available. Health psychology shows us that time limitations are the most common barrier to adopting an exercise routine.
By motivating staff to cycle to work, you encourage active participation in essential exercise and make that exercise modality more convenient.
Commuters could use the time spent on a sedentary commute productively, improving cardiovascular health along with the myriad of other benefits of exercise.
This could involve subsidizing the cost of a new bike or giving an annual allowance for bicycles. Organizations could also gamify the program, giving awards and recognition to staff who achieve certain distance milestones on their new bikes.
Naturally, it won’t be workable for everyone to cycle to work, but for those who can, the benefits will be immeasurable, making it almost certainly worth implementing.
Regrettably, people underestimate breathing techniques, although they can have tremendous benefits for the cardiovascular system (next to others):
- Improved circulation
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved heart rate variability
You can simply run a workshop, e.g. using the Wim Hof method. The best part? It won’t cost you anything. Breathing is free.