With the season of overeating about to begin, the American Heart Association reminds us that diet is one factor we can control to decrease our risk for the nation’s biggest killer – cardiovascular disease.
Wednesday, Nov. 4, has been designated Start! Eating Healthy Day to remind us that healthier lifestyles can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Western Baptist Hospital is the region’s exclusive sponsor of Start!
Some risk factors – such as heredity and aging – are out of our control, but the American Heart Association says at least 25 percent of healthcare costs incurred by working adults can be attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise.
Since adults spend a lot of time at work, companies can help by promoting healthy eating in the workplace and at home. To observe Start! Eating Healthy Day, companies can:
* Turn drink and snack machines off for the day,
or fill them with healthy snacks and beverages.
* Serve healthy food in the cafeteria for a day or week.
* Have a speaker discuss nutrition.
* Throw a heart-healthy cookoff.
* Give away apples or another healthy snack.
* Send e-mails with nutrition tips.
Wellness at work pays
Companies that help lower their employees’ health risks can save about $53 per employee each year that the employees continues to lower his or her health risks, according to the AHA.
* An estimated 25 to 30 percent of companies’ medical costs per year are spent on employees with excess health risk.
* Fitness programs have reduced employer healthcare costs by 20 to 55 percent.
* Preventable illnesses make up 70 percent of illness costs in the U.S.
* Reducing just one health risk increases a person’s productivity on the job by 9 percent and reduces absenteeism by 2 percent.
* A 10 percent weight loss can reduce medical costs by up to $5,300 by avoiding hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol.
Western Baptist offers Start!, a free workplace walking program, to its employees. As the region’s exclusive sponsor, the hospital shares the program with interested companies so they can help their employees become fit. To get a free kit, businesses can phone Western Baptist at (270) 575-2777. For more information about Start! Eating Healthy Day, visit www.startwalkingnow.org.
Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline
For help identifying signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, phone our award-winning Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with a registered nurse at Western Baptist.