Programs and tactics

Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease Toolkit

Take action to lower CVD risk: Programs & Tactics

When considering a strategy for managing diabetes and CVD, program elements and tactics can be comprehensive, including existing efforts and new initiatives, or tactical, addressing specific areas that may include the physical work environment, policies or educational efforts around a specific risk factor.

Some tactics that involve the physical environment include:

  • Open accessible stairwells encourage movement
  • Natural light creates relaxed atmosphere
  • Onsite facilities make physical activity convenient; onsite walking trails
  • Standing desks decrease the amount of time an employee spends sitting

To promote corporate culture of wellness and well-being:

  • Critical to success, include well-being as part of overall business strategy
  • Choose initiatives that support the whole person (holistic approach) and push vendors to do the same
  • Include initiatives that encourage activity and socializing – walking clubs
  • Meet people where they are with programming (offer within the workplace at convenient times, use technology for hard-to-reach employees)
  • Share success stories

Here are examples of comprehensive workplace programs designed to address CVD risk and diabetes:

Know Diabetes by Heart

A collaborative initiative launched by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association to reduce cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks and strokes in people living with type 2 diabetes. Program elements include:

  • Take the Quiz
  • Ask the Experts Q & A
  • Talk with your doctor
  • Get plan and ongoing support

Know your Diabetes ABCs

Diabetes increases the risk for cardiovascular disease through multiple pathways. To help lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke or other diabetes-related problem, the CDC recommends talking to your health care provider about how to manage your ABCs:

    • A is for A1C test: The measure of blood glucose control over the previous 2-3 months; small changes in A1C can make a big difference (lowering it by just one percentage point can reduce risk for all complications by 30% to 35% and cut risk of heart attack by 18%)
    • B is for blood pressure: The pressure of circulating blood on the walls of the arteries; 2017 updated guidelines reclassified “optimal” blood pressure as <120/80 mmHg
    • C is for cholesterol test: A blood test that tells you about the amount of fat in the blood and includes low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides
    • S is for smoking, which raises your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Healthy for Good

A comprehensive initiative from the American Heart Association that promotes healthy living and encourages change one step at a time. Downloadable infographics are available to help you promote each component of the program. Program elements include:

      • Eat Smart
      • Add Color
      • Move More
      • Be Well

Life’s Simple 7

Ninety-nine percent of the adult U.S. population has at least one of seven cardiovascular health risks. The American Heart Association has defined ideal cardiovascular health based on seven simple risk factors (Life's Simple 7®) that people can improve through lifestyle changes:

      • Stop Smoking
      • Eat Better
      • Get Active
      • Lose Weight
      • Manage Blood Pressure
      • Control Cholesterol
      • Reduce Blood Sugar

Program results have shown that when an individual has:

    • At least four of the Life’s Simple 7 metrics lowers diabetes incidence by 75%
    • Five of the Life’s Simple 7 metrics cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease by 50%
    • Six of the Life’s Simple 7 metrics have a 51% lower risk of cancer


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