Employers have spent an inordinate amount of time in the past year working to keep their teams safe and healthy. Business leaders have stocked up on personal protective equipment, reconfigured office spaces, and invested record amounts in mental health programs and rapid testing. But there’s one area that, so far, has most likely gone overlooked: heart health.
Heart disease was already America’s No. 1 killer before COVID-19, with nearly half of all adults experiencing at least one of the top three risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. It’s also one of the most costly health conditions, with employers bearing the brunt of that financial burden. On average, employers lose $1,100 in productivity and a week’s worth of absences per year for each affected employee.
What makes this condition so urgent now is that — even for those who have been untouched by the virus itself — the pandemic has cranked up the dial on many of the lifestyle factors that increase risk for heart attacks and stroke: namely, physical inactivity, weight gain, high blood pressure, poor sleep, and chronic stress.
The good news is there are concrete ways that employers can reverse the effects of the pandemic on employees’ heart health. From straightforward education campaigns to slick digital tools supercharged by personalized coaching, employers have more options than ever at their fingertips. And employees are hungry for such health support: roughly half rate health as their top priority, according to Rally’s Preventive Care in America survey.
Help Is Here
We know you’re busy. And we know heart health can feel like a diffuse problem to wrap your arms around — especially when employees may be grappling with other health issues exacerbated by the pandemic. But the cost of deferring action is simply too high.
In the next couple of weeks, Rally is launching our State of Heart Health 2021 eBook, spotlighting best practices for addressing the primary risk factors for heart disease, including step-by-step guidance to drive change in your workforce. Sign up now for our Health With Benefits newsletter, to get these strategies sent right to your inbox.
As employers and benefits leaders begin imagining a post-pandemic workplace, it’s clear that problems will be plentiful. What you need now is solutions — particularly when it comes to keeping your team healthy and your bottom line buoyed. We can help.