World Heart Day takes place on Sunday 26 September – and UEFA is supporting the World Heart Federation's call to employers and employees to take responsibility for their workplace wellness.
Ten years after the first World Heart Day, UEFA is standing alongside the World Heart Federation as it encourages both companies and individuals to promote a heart-healthy working environment by adopting workplace-wellness programmes.
UEFA is convinced the good health of its staff is an asset, and that not only playing sport but also healthy nutrition are essential parts of a balanced lifestyle. The UEFA restaurant regularly offers menus that are published in the Eat for Goals! cookery book. Moreover, UEFA often provides staff with free fruit, and supplies mineral water and tea free of charge throughout the year.
For two years running, meanwhile, UEFA employees have taken part in the Bike to Work initiative in June, and UEFA subsidises staff participation in sports clubs to the amount of CHF 500 a year.
Every second year, UEFA offers staff members a free health check. It contributes to employees' health insurance costs, as well as those of their children. The European body also provides fitness facilities and organises different sporting activities for staff.
The 10-year milestone for World Heart Day represents a platform for the World Heart Federation to urge governments, healthcare professionals, employers and individuals to reduce the burden of heart disease and strokes. This comes at a time when one-third of surveyed workers believe the workplace hinders their ability to lead a healthy lifestyle.
World Heart Day is the largest global awareness campaign on heart disease, stroke and obesity, initiated by the World Heart Federation. Each year, approximately 17.1 million lives are claimed by the global burden of cardiovascular disease, and yet most heart disease and stroke is preventable.
To mark the event's tenth anniversary, the World Heart Federation is making ten top tips for living a healthy life:
• Healthy food intake
• Get active and take heart
• Say no to tobacco
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels etc.)
• Limit your alcohol intake
• Insist on a smoke-free environment
• Bring exercise to the workplace
• Choose healthy food options
• Encourage stress-free moments
The idea is that companies and individuals embrace behavioural changes – e.g. physical activity such as gym membership or cycling to work, and saying no to smoking via smoke-free workplaces – in order to successfully implement this initiative.
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