=Letterkenny General Hospital and the School of Tourism have been recognised by the Irish Heart Foundation for leading the way in prioritising their employees’ heart health.

The workplaces were amongst 98 companies from around the country which were represented at the annual Irish Heart Foundation Happy Heart Healthy Eating and [email protected] Awards in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin.

A pioneer in the field of workplace health, the Irish Heart Foundation has been supporting healthy workplaces nationwide for over 20 years through its Healthy Eating Awards.

This year, Letterkenny General Hospital was awarded a silver Happy Heart Healthy Eating Award and the School of Tourism was awarded a bronze Happy Heart Healthy Eating Award.

The awards assist staff restaurants in adopting healthier cooking practices and providing healthier food choices, ultimately making the healthier choice the easier choice for employees.

There are three different levels of achievement – gold, silver and bronze – which are aligned to the Irish Heart Foundation and Department of Health’s Healthy Eating Guidelines. Implementation is overseen by the Irish Heart Foundation’s panel of registered dietitians.

Companies were also awarded the Irish Heart Foundation’s [email protected] Award in recognition of their efforts to increase employees’ physical activity levels at work.

Fewer than one-third of Irish adults meet the minimum recommended physical activity level of 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week and Irish adults are spending on average 7.3 hours every day sitting down.

Research shows that people who sit for prolonged periods are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if individuals are regularly physically active, while one third of premature heart disease has been associated with poor diets alone.

With one quarter of the food eaten by Irish adults prepared and cooked outside of the home, workplaces can play a key role in offering healthier food choices and providing an environment that supports their employees to move more throughout the day.

Photo shows Tim Collins (left), CEO, Irish Heart Foundation, with Claire Alcorn and Mark Duffy, Letterkenny General Hospital, who achieved the Silver Healthy Eating Award.

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