American Heart Month is here, and this February the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is encouraging people across the country to reduce their risk for heart disease.
A healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, smart eating, maintaining a good weight, and not smoking can substantially lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is extremely important since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2016, 1 in 4 people in the U.S. died of heart disease.
NHLBI asked Westat to create a compelling communication initiative to further drive home the message of healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease.
Social Support Initiatives
Research has shown that having social support and personal networks makes getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, losing weight, and quitting smoking easier. For that reason, Westat worked with NHBLI to develop a theme for American Heart Month that centered on social support: Our Hearts Are Healthier Together.
#OurHearts is a national effort to encourage and motivate everyone during American Heart Month to adopt heart healthy behaviors—together. Whether at work, at home, in your community, or online, #OurHearts celebrates the power and strength of acting together to be heart healthy.
“We know that it’s sticking to a behavior change can be challenging for many people,” said TaWanna Berry, a Westat Project Director, Health Communications. “For that reason, we wanted to create a movement of people supporting each other to be heart healthy together.”
Along with concept development, Westat created educational resources to share the importance of heart healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes. Materials included fact sheets, videos, social media resources, presentation materials, websites, and much more. Learn more about these materials on the American Heart Month webpage of NHLBI.
The team is currently leading outreach efforts, such as media outreach, partnership engagements, and social media activations, to deliver the message to key audiences throughout February. Check out the #OurHearts promotional video.
Get Healthy Together By Sharing Your Inspiration
NHLBI is currently encouraging everyone to use #OurHearts on social media to share what you and your friends, family, and coworkers are doing to get heart healthy together. Visit the #OurHearts Are Healthier Together webpage to be inspired by the activities of others around the country.
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