Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny
Kilkenny’s Aut Even Hospital was celebrated by the Irish Heart Foundation for leading the way in heart health at the charity’s annual Healthy Eating and Active@Work Awards.
The charity’s flagship health programme recognises efforts to improve healthy eating practices and physical activity among staff across the country.
According to the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke, there are real bottom line benefits to workplace health promotion that provide wins for both the employer and the employee in terms of reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and improved employee morale.
A pioneer in the field of workplace health, the IHF has been boosting the heart health of almost half a million employees in more than 400 companies nationwide for over 20 years through its annual Workplace Awards.
Workplaces can apply for Bronze, Silver or Gold levels in both awards.
An example of Gold Healthy Eating Award criteria is that fish is offered at least 50% of the week on the hot/cold menu, and an example of Gold Active@Work Award criteria is that a company develops a workplace policy encouraging physical activity.
This year, Aut Even Hospital was presented with a Bronze Healthy Eating Award by the IHF for its ongoing commitment to providing and promoting healthy meal options in its restaurant.
Ultimately, the charity hopes to support companies to achieve as high a level as possible over time.
Presenting the awards, Tim Collins, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable through lifestyle change.
“This represents a huge opportunity to positively influence people’s cardiovascular risk though encouraging and supporting active living, healthy eating and other healthy behaviours.
“The workplace is an ideal setting for health promotion and the promotion of physical activity as a positive health behaviour.”
Professor Donal O’Shea, Clinical Lead for Obesity with the HSE, said: “Low levels of physical activity have a detrimental impact over time, increasing risk of heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death and disability.”