Heart disease is one of the top causes of death in the world, and the situation is especially acute in the UAE.
Reports by Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Statistics Center indicate that heart conditions are responsible for 30 percent of all deaths in Dubai alone. Moreover, people in the UAE are known to suffer from heart attacks 20 years earlier than the global average age. Clearly, this is a growing issue that affects not just people’s lives but also the overall health of the population.
The best way to help your employees avoid heart problems later in life is to educate them on the importance of early prevention and motivate them to lead a healthier lifestyle.
To inspire your employees to get heart-healthy now, you need to make prevention a part of your company culture and encourage behavioral changes within the framework of your workplace wellness program.
Here are some simple steps you can take to assist your employees in improving their heart health:
- Get people moving. Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, control weight and reduce stress. Therefore, you should create a work environment that is conducive to regular movement. Announce a step challenge to see who can log the most steps in a certain period. You can also promote exercise outside the office through offering discounted gym memberships or group fitness classes under your company wellness program.
- Serve healthy snacks. According to the American Heart Association, adopting a low-sodium diet and limiting the consumption of saturated fats and trans-fats, red meat and sugary drinks are important steps to curb the risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Supply your employees with heart-healthy snack options at work, such as fruits or vegetables.
- Prioritize stress management. It’s crucial to provide resources for your employees to deal with workplace stressors. Your wellness program should take a holistic approach and incorporate mental and emotional health support to help manage stress.
- Schedule regular health screenings. Put up educational posters around the office that invite your employees to ‘know their numbers’ to raise awareness about the necessity of screenings. Even more effective is bringing professionals to the office for onsite screening of blood pressure, BMI and glucose levels.
 Forbes 2017: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2017/02/01/how-to-help-your-employees-get-heart-healthy/#55d7c73a6c7b Accessed on September 30, 2018
 American Heart Association 2016: http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-blood-pressure-with-a-heart-healthy-diet Accessed on September 30, 2018