The American Heart Association recently published a study that provides further support for well-rounded employee wellness programs.
The benefits of physical activity for cardiovascular health in general have been shown in numerous studies, but most focused on middle-aged and older adults. Although death rates from coronary heart disease are low among women age 25-54, there has been little improvement in these rates in the past 20 years, whereas the rate among older groups has fallen during this period, according to the study.
“Most women can improve their heart health significantly by incorporating some moderate or vigorous physical activity into their regular routine,” said Andrea Chomistek, Sc.D., lead author of the study, in a statement.
At the start of the study, they found women ages 27-44 with the highest level of leisure time physical activity were at a 25 percent lower risk incidence of coronary heart disease. In addition, the frequency of physical activity did not affect the outcome as long as the total weekly time was at least 150 minutes and , regardless of their body weight when they began, women reduced their coronary heart disease risk by engaging in physical activity.
“Physical activity appears to be beneficial across the lifespan, regardless of body weight. It’s important to remember that any amount of activity is better than none,” Chomistek said.
About half of U.S. employers offer some type of workplace wellness program. Roughly half of the wellness program participants showed positive changes in their walking activities and eating habits, according to a 2013 RAND Health study.
To read more about the AHA study and find additional resources, click here.