Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in Phoenix, the state of Arizona and the rest of the U.S. And physical inactivity doubles the risk of developing heart disease.
This is a scary thought when you realize that many of us spend most of our waking hours sitting behind our desks at work. But, the news isn’t all bad. Some Valley employers such as Chandler Regional Medical Center-CHW, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center-CHW, KPHO-TV, Scottsdale Weight Loss Center, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort, Scottsdale Insurance Company and the American Heart Association have become Start! Fit-Friendly Companies. The movement is expected help employers keep their work force healthier and health care costs down.
- A campaign designed to get people moving! Through Start!, the American Heart Association is challenging Corporate America to create a culture of physical activity, which can help companies address rising health care costs.
- A call to action that evokes active, year-round participation in walking and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke by supporting the American Heart Association. By participating in the Start! Walking Program you are setting an example for your employees. If leaders show they have made health a priority, employees will do the same, resulting in an increase in productivity and a decline in health care costs.
- A long-term commitment to fight the major causes of heart disease and stroke in American adults through a comprehensive walking and nutrition program. Companies that sign up for the Start! Walking Program receive a plan that includes a step-by-step guide to kick off your company’s Walking Program, as well as tips on how to maximize employee participation. By following the steps presented, you can encourage and motivate your employees to get involved, stay involved and improve their health.
The American Heart Association recognizes Start! Fit-Friendly companies as employers who go above and beyond when it comes to their employees’ health. Employers are encouraged to take steps such as:
- Providing walking routes.
- Promoting walking programs and tracking tools.
- Allowing staff to wear athletic shoes on designated “sneaker days.”
- Offering unique requirements for the different levels of recognition.
Becoming a Start! Fit-Friendly Company is simple, fast and free with the American Heart Association’s online application tool. Visit www.heart.org to take your first step in becoming a Start! Fit-Friendly Company. To learn more, call (602) 414-5344.