National Public Health Week is here.
The annual event focuses on creating “the healthiest nation” by supporting healthy communities and fair policies.
This week is the perfect time to start conversations in your workplace and community about public health. Whether you want to follow along with this week’s agenda or save it for a later date, any time is a good time to consider public health. Plus, you can share public health facts year-round with employees.
In this post, we share public health points of discussion to engage employees.
Here’s a list of daily topics to consider promoting in your workplace:
Monday: Healthy Communities
Our communities are where we work, play, and live. It’s important to keep communities healthy by holding public officials accountable — especially when it comes to air and water quality. Additionally, workplaces are a great starting point to build healthier communities.
Healthy workplace foundations may include:
- Supporting mental health days
- Offering wellness programs
- Holding flu shot clinics to promote a healthy office
- Providing healthy food options at on-site cafeterias
Tuesday: Violence Prevention
Unfortunately, gun-related deaths are on the rise. These are not only occurring more frequently in domestic situations, but also in the workplace.
Keep your employees from being a statistic by:
- Offering stress management workshops
- Hosting violence prevention sessions
- Hiring an on-site mental health counselor
- Providing “safe places”
Prepare and plan ahead to keep employees safe. Have a course of action planned for an active shooter situation, along with handling employee mental health issues.
Wednesday: Rural Health
Those who live in rural communities often have limited access to prevention services and healthcare. These Americans have a higher chance of death from issues like heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory disease.
Other points to consider for rural areas:
- Higher rates of depression and suicide occur
- Poverty and transportation can cause issues for employment
- Offering telemedicine options through employer-sponsored healthcare
How to make a difference: Companies can support transportation policies, school programs, lower cost insurance, and provide healthcare options.
Thursday: Technology and Public Health
Advanced technology is making it easier than ever to connect employees to health gadgets and healthier living. Consider investing in health-and activity-trackers for employees to make healthy behavior changes like moving more.
Ways to support your staff with technology:
- Remember technology (apps/websites) are powerful health management tools
- Advocate for healthy living through company social media
- Offer employees a list of activity trackers, free calorie counter apps, etc.
- Text4baby app keeps pregnant women on track during and after pregnancy
Encourage employees to get biometric screenings done. Serious health concerns like heart disease and diabetes, for example, can be determined by early screenings with state-of-the-art technology.
Friday: Climate Change
Climate change is a touchy subject, yes. But studies show environmental changes caused by climate change are connected to community health issues.
Make a difference by:
- Providing tips to decrease individual and family carbon footprints
- Outline company and office-wide activities to reduce carbon footprints
- Support and promote a “Bike to Work Day”
As a company, consider taking a public stand on supporting policies that prevent the worsening of climate change. An easy and simple way to do this is to encourage employees to carpool together, for example.
Saturday and Sunday: Global Health
Americans’ health can be compromised based on the current state of overall global health. Viruses and disease quickly travel the globe, and the World Health Organization (WHO) still considers diseases like malaria and cholera as global health threats.
Why global health matters:
- A healthy nation supports a healthy planet
- U.S. research and policies have worldwide effects
- Global health research puts billions into U.S. economy
Consider participating in World Health Day on April 7 to share insight to global health initiatives.
Public Health Week is More Than 7 Days Long
Public health goes beyond just the first week in April. Your employees are an extension of your company, and when they leave a healthy office, it reaches into local communities.
When companies address disease risk by offering wellness programs and quality healthcare options, it reduces insurance premiums and increases employee lifespans.
And, it shows employees their company cares about quality of life.
Whether you delay your involvement for later this month or plan to join the movement next year, there’s plenty of resources to learn how to get involved.
A few ideas to go beyond this week:
- Host on-going health activities with employees
- Set up volunteer days at local public health fairs
- Make a company social media channel for sharing public health stats
- Create a campaign to take a billion steps by next year’s event
- Set a date for a company-wide flu clinic
- Join the NPHW twitter community
How do you plan to spread the word about public health in your office? Share in the comments below!