Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women? In fact, about 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. That's why February is American Heart Month - to spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives.
Throughout the country, companies both big and small are taking creative steps to advocate for this cause. Here are some examples of brands that are promoting American Heart Month in unique ways:
Virgin America Airline announced in 2016 that it was partnering with the American Heart Association to launch the "Bring Your Sweetheart" fare sale "to help raise awareness of heart disease and stroke and to provide tips to stay “heart healthy” for your loved ones." One-way fares sold for as little as $49 and $10 from every ticket was donated to the AHA.
In addition to donating a portion of ticket sales, members of the Virgin America in-flight team wore red dresses and red dress pins throughout the month to show their support for the cause. (In fact, Virgin America's signature red dress and red shoe uniform lauched in 2012 to give in-flight teammates a way to show their support for AHA, and was so popular that it later became a permanent uniform option.)
Coca-Cola released limited edition cans of Diet Coke designed to raise awareness for American Heart Month and promote The Heart Truth®, a program of the National Insitute of Health that serves to remind women to protect their heart health. More than six billion packages of Diet Coke are printed throughout the year with The Heart Truth® logo to inspire an online conversation and social sharing about the organization's mission.
This month, CVS announced its plans to raise $10 million over the next three years in the fight against heart disease and stroke. The money will fund life-saving cardiovascular research and education. The pharmacy franchise is also the new sponsor of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement.
Customers can contribute to the cause by making $1, $3, or more donations at the register in stores nationwide or online February 5-25.
In February 2012, the Quaker Oats Company launched the "Nourish What Counts" campaign to inspire women to "take just five minutes a day to do something good for their hearts during American Heart Month." The campaign sought to encourage women to eat healthy, be more active, and take the American Heart Association "My Life Check" risk assessment and join the Go Red For Women® movement. Their website also featured nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and workout routines.
This year, they've partnered with WomenHeart, the national coalition for women with heart disease, in order to help women identify and lower their risk. They have also created a lot of social media with #HeartTalks to encourage people to have a simple conversation with the women in their lives about heart health and living a healthy lifestyle.
Looking to promote American Heart Month at your company?
You don't have to launch a national campaign or raise millions of dollars in order to raise awareness for American Heart Month. Simply creating ways to acknowledge the importance of your employees' health is a great way to start!
Consider hosting a healthy potluck for everyone to bring in a healthy dish to share, start a monthly fitness challenge, or reward your employees with health-inspiring gifts like a fitness tracker or gym membership.
At Alcott, we've had great success with implementing a "snack closet" with healthy snack options and creating a fitness room with simple exercise equipment where our employees can take a quick "health break" to maintain focus and feel refreshed during the work day.
We encourage you to get your employees thinking about their heart health and promote wellness not only during February, but throughout the year. If your company is promoting American Heart Month in a creative way, we'd love to hear about it! Let us know by leaving a comment in the comment section.