Articles — February 14, 2024
American Heart Month: How to Support the Heart Health of Your Workforce
February is American Heart Month – which means it’s a great time for you as a benefits leader to focus on employees’ heart health and wellness.
Why heart health matters for workplace wellness
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. On top of the devastating toll CVD takes on human health, it is also overburdening our health care system.
According to the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, Americans with heart disease incurs $13,329 in annual health spending vs. $7,035 for those without. And this is a drain on employers in health premiums and lowered productivity when employees miss work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that heart disease and stroke cost the U.S. health care system $216 billion per year. And employers eat another $147 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism.
That’s where Hello Heart comes in. The simple steps that Hello Heart users take to manage their heart health add up to significant savings for employers – an average of $2,382 per person in the first year of the program.
Addressing heart health in workplace wellness plans not only makes good business sense – helping you contain health care costs and realize productivity gains through prevention efforts – it’s also an opportunity to help employees reduce their risk of heart disease. The best news? Up to 80% of CVD cases can be prevented. It just takes lifestyle changes that address common risk factors.
What employers can do to impact heart health
A great way to prevent CVD in your workforce is to clear the path for people to understand and mitigate their CVD risk factors.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use are significant risk factors, according to the CDC. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are particularly important to monitor. These two conditions often have no symptoms – not until a heart attack or stroke, anyway. And that’s why CVD is often called a “silent killer.”
Hello Heart, a bswift Alliance Partner, helps employees track, understand, and ultimately take control of their heart health. Hello Heart is the digital leader in preventive heart health. And Hello Heart is on a mission to change the way people care for their hearts. Through human-centric design, members receive actionable insights around healthy eating and activity. Plus, they can track key heart metrics like blood pressure and cholesterol unique to each person and consistent with clinical guidelines.
Using a connected heart monitor and a mobile app with personalized, AI-driven digital coaching, Hello Heart users sustain decreases in their blood pressure and make meaningful progress to reducing cardiovascular risk. According to a peer-reviewed JAMA Network Open study, 84% of Hello Heart users with stage 2 hypertension sustainably reduced their systolic blood pressure over three years.
How technology can empower heart-healthy lifestyles
Hello Heart’s research shows people have better health outcomes when they are more engaged with their health. That’s why Hello Heart uses behavioral science insights and digital engagement techniques to encourage heart-healthy habits.
For example, reminders alert users to regularly check their blood pressure and pulse, providing a picture of their heart health over time. Personalized insights tailored to each user’s blood pressure, cholesterol, medications, weight, and activity empower employees to take action. Users receive different feedback based on their gender, including whether they indicate they are in menopause – because women have unique heart health symptoms and risks that deserve tailored support.
Once employees engage in their heart health, companies benefit quickly.
Heart health is the benefit everyone deserves
Every employee deserves a healthy heart – and the good news is that it’s never been easier. Show your workforce the love with tailored heart health support as a workplace wellness benefit. Get in touch with Hello Heart today. Find out how you can build a more heart-healthy workforce, all from bswift’s centralized benefits platform.
Happy American Heart Month!
About the bswift and Hello Heart partnership
The bswift + Hello Heart partnership empowers HR teams to address the critical heart-related health and wellness challenges for their workforce. Together, we deliver innovative tools to combat rising health care costs, improve employee health outcomes, and create cultures of well-being.
More than 100 employers serving more than 2 million people already offer Hello Heart as their best-in-class heart health employee benefit. With the combined power of bswift’s benefits administration and engagement expertise and Hello Heart’s connected capabilities for managing cardiovascular risk, HR can provide an integrated wellness experience that drives real change, helping employees take charge of their health.