Businesses Encouraged To “Go Red” for American Heart Month

by Carrie Skogsberg
American Heart Association

Flaunt your style... and your heart health! Go Red in February!

During the month of February, it seems as if the color red is everywhere. Love and romance are on our minds as we think about those who matter most in our hearts. But the American Heart Association wants you to think much more literally about your heart this February. It’s American Heart Month, and the Go Red For Women movement wants every woman to remember that heart disease is her number-one health threat.

So what does this mean to businesses? A lot. It means that almost every woman (and man, for that matter) in your company is affected by heart disease in some way. It’s the number one killer of Americans, and nearly all of us have at least one risk factor, such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease. Workers who suffer from heart attacks affect a company’s bottom line in more ways than one—higher insurance premiums, days away from work and costly disability coverage. It’s in employers’ best interests to keep their employees healthy, and why not start during American Heart Month?

This February, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement asks businesses and individuals everywhere to spread heart health awareness by wearing red. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th annual Wear Red Day, kicking off a year of celebration that culminates with the birthday of Go Red For Women in 2014. Encourage your co-workers to “Go Red” throughout the month of February, and deck out your building in red to help spread the word!

Here are some ways your business can “Go Red” for American Heart Month:

First, check out goredforwomen.org for a list of resources available to you. These might include educational materials, red dress pins, recipes, etc. Many of the resources are free!

Next, schedule a few fun, healthy activities for your co-workers, such as:

  • A healthy lunch n’ learn. Have everyone bring in a healthy dish and then host an educational heart health seminar.
  • Screening event. Ask a local medical facility to provide blood pressure, cholesterol or other screenings for employees. Then ask your employees to fill in their numbers at mylifecheck.org to see where they stand, and to receive tips on how they can improve.
  • Paint the office red. Well, not literally… but deck out the office with red lighting, educational posters, red dresses, hearts, etc. Then take a photo and post it on the American Heart Association Peoria’s Facebook page to show your support!
  • Hold a red dress contest. Have participating employees design their own paper red dresses and award a prize!
  • Conduct a healthy cooking demo. Use recipes from the Go Red cookbook.

It’s easy and fun to Go Red For Women! For more ideas and resources, log on to goredforwomen.org. iBi

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