Scientific, evidenced-based instrument rates, recognizes workplace health programs and workforce heart health
September 12, 2017 — The 2017 results of the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index were announced today, recognizing 540 companies for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. A unique feature of the Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data.
More than 800 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 67% received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze recognition. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition.
“Our CEO members have collectively pledged to improve the health of our nation’s companies, their employees, and communities,” said Henry Kravis, Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of KKR and Co-Chairman of the Association’s CEO Roundtable. “We’re pleased to see more companies join us on this important mission and help share our collective best practices on workplace health initiatives with all America’s employers.”
The Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their workplace health programs, as well as the overall heart health of their employees. Unlike other existing organizational scorecards, the Index also scores companies on the heart health of their employees based on Life’s Simple 7® – the Association’s scientifically validated definition of ideal heart health. The key factors contributing to optimal heart health include smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, managing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and keeping blood sugar at a healthy level.
Scientific research shows that improving these seven factors can lead to significant reductions in heart disease, stroke, cancer, and many other health problems. In addition, people who achieve ideal cardiovascular health by age 50 have a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and live, on average, approximately 10 years longer than people with two or more risk factors.
“The Index asks companies to be proactive about employee health, benefits, programs and incentives,” said Terry Lundgren, Executive Chairman of Macy’s Inc. and Co-Chairman of the Association’s CEO Roundtable. “By challenging participating companies to actively prioritize employees’ health and well-being – we can effectively build a culture of health and wellness across America.”
“These companies are leading the way to integrate health and well-being into the overall fabric of their workplaces,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “The American Heart Association is committed to helping companies create a culture of overall health and well-being anchored in heart health. We know that good health is good business and congratulate these companies on their successes.”
The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science, and a quality improvement framework. According to the Nielsen 2016 Employee Health Survey, robust and comprehensive strategies for well-being are associated with positive impacts on employees’ health.The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Solutions offers a suite of evidence-based tools to help optimize current employee health programs. These tools leverage the science behind the Index while improving consumer engagement and promoting healthier behaviors. For more information, visit www.heart.org/workplacehealth.