Abstract 19185: An Employer-Initiated Challenge to Improve Cardiovascular Health in the Workplace
Introduction: Concerted attention is focused on achievement of the AHA’s 2020 Strategic Impact Goal which is aimed at a 20% reduction in deaths due to heart disease and stroke. Innovative strategies for promoting awareness of cardiovascular (CV) risk and maintaining and improving CV health are needed for a variety of community-based settings. Objective: To describe an ongoing employer-initiated program aimed at evaluating the effectiveness and efficacy of a CV health intervention focused on maintaining and improving cardiovascular health in an occupational setting.
Methods: Administrators from the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) implemented a voluntary 9-month “Cardiovascular Health Challenge” based on Life’s Simple 7. The OKCIC is an urban healthcare facility for members enrolled in federally-recognized American Indian tribes. Participants were asked to complete My Life Check assessments of Life’s Simple 7 at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the challenge period and to donate a small financial contribution that will be pooled and awarded to the employee with the greatest changes in CV health at the completion of the program. Several program-based workplace resources have been provided to promote healthy behavior change, including an AHA-sponsored walking path at the clinic facility, encouraged daily walking breaks, Life’s Simple 7 materials posted throughout the workplace, pedometers, cooking classes and smoking cessation workshops. Participant feedback regarding program experiences will be solicited and adherence, efficacy and effectiveness will be evaluated.
Results: Approximately one-third (n=44) of OKCIC clinic employees are currently enrolled in the CV health challenge. Initial assessments indicate that baseline My Life Check assessments prompted screening of CV health components for a large proportion of participants who were previously unaware of their CVD risk.
Conclusions: Incentive-based workplace programs focused on improving CV health represent a unique opportunity to achieve progress towards achievement of the 2020 goals. Maximization of employer encouragement and co-worker camaraderie may be key factors for improved awareness of CVD risk and promotion of healthy behavior change in the workplace.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.