Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Decrease Salt. One Important Way to Improve Employee Health

Employee Health Through Reading Food LabelsIn a tough economy, many of your employees are making logical changes in spending habits. They are probably taking fewer vacations, eliminating extras from TV subscription packages, and using e-mail more frequently to save a few cents on a stamp. One thing we hope your employees aren't sacrificing, however, is good, healthy and lightly processed food.

Encourage Employee Health by Providing Health Tips that Teach Them What to Look for on Food Labels

Buying cheap food is tempting when you're at the grocery store, but convenience and processed foods aren't necessarily the way to go. Purchasing frozen meals and other processed food items can drastically increase sodium intake.

Even items you wouldn't think contain salt might be sneaking it in to employee diets. For example, on a recent trip to the store for a bag of frozen peas, I glanced at the back of the package only to find the words “peas, water, and salt” listed as the ingredients. I looked at a few other brands and, wouldn't you know, several had salt listed, as well. I did find one that had only peas and water, a small success that can add up!

Let Your Employees Know the Effects of Excess Sodium

You're probably thinking “what's the big deal? It's just a little salt,” but Americans consume entirely too much sodium. What does excess sodium intake result in? Hypertension! And what does hypertension mean? An increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Most of your employees don't even realize that hypertension is a preventable illness, meaning that people can actually do something to prevent hypertension from sneaking up on them. The best form of prevention is to monitor your daily salt intake by glancing at the nutrition label on the foods you eat and keeping a tally of what you're putting into your body. According to the American Heart Association, we should be consuming 1,500mg of sodium or less per day.

In addition to keeping track of how much sodium you consume, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can reduce your risk of developing hypertension. 

Make Employees Aware of the Risks

Think about this: With all the hype about healthy eating and increasing exercise, shouldn't more companies be tuning into what they can do for their employees in order to reduce the cost of healthcare? Encourage employees to take the next step to a healthy lifestyle and start paying better attention to what they are putting into their bodies. Once people make this a habit, the performance they'll get out of their bodies will be even better!

Topics: employee health nutrition disease prevention control healthcare costs