Embracing American Heart Month in Your Workplace

If you’ve turned on the television recently or seen a local advertisement, you may have seen announcements highlighting heart health, wearing red, or lowering blood pressure. That is because February is American Heart Month!

American Heart Month is to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it.

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Million Hearts, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 in the United States, is challenging Americans to know and control their blood pressure.1

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to a list of health issues- including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and more.2 Certain risk factors put others at greater risk for developing high blood pressure than others. These factors include age, race or ethnicity, being overweight, gender, family history of high blood pressure, and general lifestyle habits. 3

With a diverse workforce, it is important for everyone to be aware of ways to live a heart healthy lifestyle. What can your organization do to embrace American Heart Month?

Get the Word Out

Whether it is in your organization’s newsletters, during a team meeting, or through an email, share information about living a heart healthy lifestyle. Examples may include:

  • A heart healthy recipe that can help lower or control blood pressure. The American Heart Association has a wide variety.
  • Posting flyers about American Heart Month around the office, including the vending machine or break room
  • A quick tip for lowering sodium consumption. The CDC has great sodium reduction resources.

Take Action

Use American Heart Month as an opportunity to promote team building and active living. During your next work day, or even between a long meeting, try to incorporate some physical activity with your team. Examples may include:

  • Sharing a new exercise video or stretching diagram for employees to try. Fitness Blender has a wide variety of options;
  • Taking a stretch break halfway through a meeting; and
  • Using 10 minutes out of the day to walk with your team or stretch at your desk

Stay Connected to Resources

Some employees may not be aware of certain resources that support heart health. Examples of certain resources you may want to make available include:

  • Smoking cessation resources available locally and/or online. Smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease by causing stress on the heart.
  • Hosting a blood pressure screening clinic at work. Encourage employees to get their blood pressure checked regularly.
  • A link to the American Heart Association website, which contains comprehensive information regarding heart health.

Keep these examples in mind when creating your own worksite wellness program. These ideas can be applied to your organization during American Heart Month and year round!




[1] February is Heart Month. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
[2] High Blood Pressure Complications. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/complications/con-20019580
[3] Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/atrisk