The American Heart Association is dedicated to improving work environments and implementing workplace wellness programs in order to promote a culture of health in the workplace. Many individuals spend a great deal of time at their place of work, so it is important that businesses offer health and wellness initiatives for all employees. Workplace wellness programs are beneficial to both employers and employees –healthier employees are both happier and more productive in the workplace. Fortunately, AHA has many resources to help employers integrate employee wellness initiatives into their businesses. The American Heart Association has a program called Workplace Heath Solutions that provides many steps and tools for workplaces to create comprehensive employee health programs. Workplace Health Solutions is a 5 step program that begins with an assessment of the current state of the workplace in terms of employee health, which will help employers identify areas for change and improvements. The second step involves utilizing AHA resources to the company’s benefit, including My Life Check, a tool for individuals that will help them improve their health by monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and more. The next steps involve implementing changes and tracking progress, rewarding achievement, and analyzing outcomes. Workplace Health Solutions can help employers create a culture of health for employees within the workplace and improve health outcomes. For more information on Workplace Health Solutions, go to http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WorkplaceHealth/Workplace-Health_UCM_460416_SubHomePage.jsp
An important component of promoting health in the workplace is making sure that employees are educated about nutrition and able to access healthy foods while at work. An excellent resource for employers to learn about healthy eating within the workplace is the AHA’s Healthy Workplace Food & Beverage Toolkit. The Food & Beverage Toolkit provides simple steps for employers to start improving health in the workplace. These recommendations include: eliminate or reduce sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks, offer fruits and vegetables whenever possible, reduce candy in vending machines, and stop serving fried food. The Toolkit also recommends that employers create a culture of healthy eating by signing a pledge to commit to healthy foods and beverages in the workplace as well as adopting policies, such as a healthy meeting policy, that will support this pledge.  Employers can initiate changes within the workplace in order to make healthy choices easier for employees to make. For more information about the Healthy Workplace & Food and Beverage Toolkit, visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WorkplaceHealth/EmployerResources/Healthy-Workplace-Food-and-Beverage-Toolkit_UCM_465195_Article.jsp#.V5pS7k0UXIU.