boyd-theheartbeat-2000.pdf (109.7 kB)
The heartbeat challenge programme: promoting healthy changes in New Zealand workplaces
journal contributionposted on 2000-03-01, 00:00 authored by G Price, S Mackay, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
The Heartbeat Challenge programme of the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand develops the commitment of workplaces to creating an environment that reduces barriers and increases opportunities to improve and maintain health. Workplaces choose to make healthy lifestyle changes from a broad range of strategies encompassing elements of healthy food choices, promoting regular physical activity and being smoke free. An award is achieved on meeting the necessary criteria. Results of programme monitoring from 159 workplaces indicate that Heartbeat Challenge has created a supportive health environment in workplaces. Changes were made by 99% of workplaces to meet the award criteria. In the areas of healthy food, physical activity and smoke free, 92, 86 and 94% of workplaces met more than the required five criteria, respectively, and met an average of 3.5, 3.5 and 3.0 more criteria, respectively, when achieving a Heartbeat Challenge compared to initial participation. Heartbeat Challenge has been successful in a wide variety of types and sizes of workplaces with the added benefit of improving staffs' attitudes about the workplace, the company and themselves. Structural changes have occurred which are sustainable, and have created an environment which has the potential to improve the health of a large segment of the working population.