Heart disease has reached an epidemic level in the Hispanic community. Within the last few years, 48% of all Hispanic men and 32% of Hispanic women have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease in Hispanic women and men needs to be a primary concern if it’s going to get better. Hispanics and heart disease are linked in a number of different ways.
Traditionally, the women in the Hispanic community take on the role of caregiver for their entire families. This “superwoman” phenomenon can lead Hispanic women to ignore early signs and symptoms of the onset of heart problems and keeps them from getting regular doctor checkups.
In addition to this mentality, traditional Hispanic cooking involves a lot of pork products, lard and other highly saturated fats. Cooking is an act of love in the Hispanic community but there is also a degree of risk to heart health when serving these types of foods their family has come to expect and love.
Self-Care Gets A Higher Priority
Many health and wellness programs are trying to convince Hispanic women to take on more of a self-care first mentality. As the old saying goes, you have to “put your oxygen mask on first” before you try to save anyone else. These programs encourage the women of the household to take charge of their own health by making different food choices, striving to exercise more and having regular check-ups with their family doctor.
Ways Employers Can Help
Diet and exercise are two changes to a person’s lifestyle that can contribute to a healthier life and help reduce the risk of heart disease in Hispanic women, men and all kinds of employees challenged by their heart health.
As an employer, ways your company can help your employees get on the right track to health include:
employee discount to a local gym
wellness blog or Intranet page for employees updated with healthy activities
close by the office (for example, pick-up basketball at the local YMCA)
in community activities with your employees that encourage movement –
sponsoring walk-a-thons for charitable causes aligned with your company’s brand.
- Bring in a yoga or stretch instructor once a week for a free class during lunch
If snacks or beverages are available at your company, curate the selection to include healthier options like:
machine options – opt for protein bars, nuts,
raisins, trail mix as opposed to chips and chocolate bars
- Replace soft drink options with
water, tea and coffee. Juice may be a good option as
opposed to soda.
- If you have a company café or cafeteria, speak with your food staff about adjusting the menu to include more heart-healthy options and encourage their expertise to help adjust the menu towards healthier foods.
Take Heart Disease In The Hispanic Population Seriously.
Sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t have a pattern and can be unpredictable. So while we can address areas of diet and exercise that are controllable, it’s not just about facing the threat of heart disease in the Hispanic population. Sudden cardiac arrest has become a rapidly accelerating challenge for all of us.
So how do we take on something that feels like it has no rhyme or reason at times as far as its victims? As an employer, you’re still more empowered than you think.
While everyone is responsible for their own health, providing options that help your employees learn more about their own health and wellness is an initiative that many employers have found to pay off tenfold.
Many people are choosing food and lifestyle options simply because they are not aware of other possibilities. Helping to educate and encourage a healthy lifestyle is a unique benefit your company can implement to differentiate yourself from the competition and encourage a positive and productive workplace.
Get the peace of mind you need that you’ve done all you can to reduce the likelihood of a heart-related incident in your work environment with these preventative recommendations. But even in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, you can still take heart health seriously by getting your entire workforce trained to operate an AED and perform CPR at a moment’s notice for any victim. SOS is your partner that can make that happen in no time, so get your calendar lined up for safety by scheduling your next training session with one of our safety consultants at 888.705.6100.