Ninety-nine percent of the U.S. adult population has at least one of seven cardiovascular health risks. The combination of these risk factors increases employer medical spending by more than 200 percent per person annually. Improved heart health benefits both employees and employers. Healthy, engaged employees are more productive, with lower absenteeism and lower healthcare costs.

A new movement

The American Heart Association has launched an ambitious movement to build a culture of health throughout America’s workplaces. It all starts with Life’s Simple 7 and the Workplace Health Achievement Index.

Life’s Simple 7 health behaviors represent seven out of the top 10 most costly risk factors that people can improve through lifestyle changes: smoking status, physical activity, weight, diet, blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. These risk factors comprise 20-30 percent of companies’ annual healthcare expenditures. Taking small, simple steps toward improving these factors can add up to big differences in overall health, and maintaining ideal levels for at least five of Life’s Simple 7 behaviors cuts risk of heart-related death by more than 50 percent.

Taking measures

The Workplace Health Achievement Index is a comprehensive organizational self-assessment that measures both the health of your workplace and the health of your workforce. The index uses performance measures built around the Life’s Simple 7 factors.

Life’s Simple 7 Journey to Health leverages the powerful science of Life’s Simple 7 across workforces and dependents with a suite of integrated tools and services: Life’s Simple 7 portal for education and enhanced awareness; biometric screenings with multiple options; integrated Life’s Simple 7 health assessment with robust consumer lifestyle behavior guidance; incentives tracking and management; expanded online reporting, insights and analytics; and aggregated data reporting to meet the performance measures requirement under the Workplace Health Achievement Index.