Four Co.Clare based companies and workplaces were awarded for prioritising their employees’ heart health at the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Heart Healthy Eating and Active@Work Awards.
Heart disease and stroke are among Ireland’s leading causes of death. However, we know that 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable through a healthy lifestyle. Most adults spend approximately 60% of their waking hours at work, therefore workplaces can play a key part in promoting and offering healthier food choices and physical activity programmes. The Irish Heart Foundation has been supporting healthy workplaces for over 20 years, and through the awards, recognises their efforts for prioritising employees’ heart health.
The Healthy Eating Award programme assists staff restaurants in adopting healthier cooking practices and providing healthier food choices with the aim of making the healthier choice the easier choice for employees. There are three levels of achievement; gold, silver and bronze, which are aligned to the Irish Heart Foundation and Department of Health’s Healthy Eating Guidelines. This year, St Joseph’s Hospital was awarded a gold Irish Heart Foundation Happy Hearts Healthy Eating Award, Lufthansa Technik was awarded a silver Irish Heart Foundation Happy Hearts Healthy Eating Award and Clare Youth Service and GECAS, The Restaurant were awarded a silver Irish Heart Foundation Happy Hearts Healthy Eating Award.
It is recommended that people get 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least 5 days of the week, but this does not cancel out the damage caused to our health by sitting for long periods of time. The Active@Work Award aims to get more employees more active on a continuous basis, rather than just organising a once off activity event, and promotes a culture of physical activity and long-term sustainable programmes.
Presenting the awards alongside Mr Karl Henry, Health and Fitness Expert, Broadcaster and Author, Tim Collins, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “Today we are awarding 102 companies with Happy Heart Healthy Eating and Active@Work Awards. A great way to tackle heart disease and stroke is through workplace wellbeing initiatives such as healthier food promotion, provision in the workplace and sustainable physical activity programmes.”
“The Irish Heart Foundation is delighted to recognise each of these companies for creating a culture of health and wellbeing and positively influencing people’s cardiovascular health by providing a long-term sustainable programme that demonstrates commitment to the organisation’s most important asset, its employees.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony Sarah McCormack, HSE National Healthy Ireland Lead said: “This annual event is always uplifting and the HSE is delighted to support the Irish Heart Foundation in this great initiative that reaches out to so many work locations across the country. Of course, those here today are receiving recognition awards but there are many other work locations who are working towards achieving a bronze, silver or gold standard. The Healthy Ireland Framework is about creating a movement across the country to improve the health and wellbeing of the population. This focus on work locations is a key enabling factor as it not only reaches the employees, but their families, their friends and the many contacts that each employee connects with. On behalf of the HSE I congratulate every work location who have achieved this standard, who continue their work for health and wellbeing and of course a special thank you to the 27 HSE work locations on achieving these standards.”
The Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Heart Healthy Eating and Active@Work Awards are supported by the HSE and Healthy Ireland.
If your company is interested in the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Heart Healthy Eating Awards, contact the health promotion team on 01 668 5001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.