How to provide a more heart-healthy workplace for employees
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
You appreciate how conscientious and loyal your employees are, and you want to keep them with your organization for many years to come. Letting them know by words and actions that you care about their health and well-being is a first step in making this goal happen — and letting your staff know their great value to you.
Creating a more heart-healthy workplace is an effective and easy way to make this happen, according to multiple studies. Use these tips to help your employees protect their cardiovascular health, and feel great emotionally, too:
Give your workers a sense of control.
A new study from the European Society of Cardiology found that employees who felt great job stress with little control over their daily tasks have a 48 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
There's a lot employers can do to help their workers experience a sense of power over their work, and let go of tension, however. Scheduling set breaks into the workday enhances a sense of personal validity and freedom; so does being willing to listen to your employees' concerns without criticism or judgment.
You should also emphasize with your employees' frustrations and work with them to find mutually acceptable solutions.
Make workdays as flexible as possible.
An Ohio State University study finds that women who work 60 hours per week or more over three decades appear to have a tripled risk of cardiovascular disease.
Help your employees mitigate overwork-related health risks by allowing them to spread out their work hours more widely, rotate schedules with other employees, or work from home whenever it's feasible.
Offer screening services.
Medical screening services as a way employers can support their workers' well-being.
Talk to your parent organization about bringing a mobile clinic to your job site to provide cardiovascular exams periodically, which will make it easy to get workers’ blood pressures checked or to undergo a stress tests they might been putting off. This can be a life-saving gesture of support.
Get folks moving.
A University of Missouri at Columbia study found that six hours of sitting in front of a computer screen can reduce blood flow to a key artery in your lower leg — immediate vascular function impairment that can be serious in terms of cardiovascular disease or events.
Just 10 minutes of walking will reverse this effect, however, so encourage your workers to rise and stroll around the office at regular intervals. Putting together walking or jogging groups before work, at lunch, or after work can be a great way for your staffers to stay active, and stave off heart trouble, too.
Be a great example.
When everyone is sampling snacks at an office breakfast, choose fresh fruit instead of a doughnut (and hey, why not banish donuts entirely?).
Show your employees you have a handle on your own stress levels by maintaining a calm demeanor when the pressure's on. Join that lunchtime walking group, too.
By demonstrating your team-player commitment to staying healthy, your impact as a role model will have an invaluable effect on the choices your employees make at work.
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