The UAE remains high in several major rankings for lifestyle diseases globally, particularly heart conditions and diabetes. On average, people in the UAE die of heart attacks almost 20 years earlier than the rest of the world. According to the 2019 Cigna 360⁰ Well-Being Survey, heart disease and high blood pressure are still on the rise in the country. The results revealed several key health indicators that highlight the importance of workplace wellness programs (WWP) for health awareness and disease prevention.
Corporate culture is a key factor in attracting and retaining talent, and employee health and well-being initiatives are among its most important components. Driven by the always-on nature of digital business and the 24/7 working style followed increasingly around the world, current studies show that more than 40 percent of workers face high stress in their jobs that adversely affects their productivity, health, and family stability. Healthier, less stressed employees bring more to the workplace.
For the average working person in Dubai, a regular day may include lots of caffeine before and during work, a quick meal at the office with a side of snacks, hours of staring at a screen, and a box of fast food and TV time to end a very long day. Repetitively living this day, however, could put a growing number of young professionals on a collision course towards heart disease and even heart attacks at an early age.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a third of ischemic heart disease cases can be attributed to high cholesterol, which is estimated to cause 2.6 million deaths worldwide.
Heart disease is often preventable, and small changes can have a huge impact not only on individual health but also on employee performance and business profitability. These include:
Incorporating at least one of these changes into workplace wellness programs can make a considerable difference to employee health, and ultimately, boost the performance of employees. Moreover, if the company has a health insurance policy, which is now mandatory in the UAE, a healthy workforce is a major factor in controlling year-on-year premium increases.
A surefire way to promote heart health at work is through building a culture of well-being rather than launching isolated initiatives. Here are a few simple points to incorporate into a workplace wellness program to prevent heart disease and improve employee performance:
Simply showing employees that the company cares about them and wants them to thrive at work is often enough convince them to embrace healthier lifestyles, in addition to nurturing loyalty. Workplace wellness programs play an integral part in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Keeping employees’ heart-healthy ensures peak performance, which earns the company higher returns and prevents financial losses.
At Cigna, we are committed to helping you in your health journey. Take the first stop now with our wellness assessment and get insights on your health. Log on to www.cigna-me.com and take the test.