Its motto is “choose to live a little” and after one of its staff had a scare last year, Lidl is making sure its staff can live longer by checking out their hearts and setting them a fitness challenge.
The company’s health and wellness programme involves a cardiac screening for its 3,200 employees as well as a ‘walk to the moon’ step challenge which will see staff walk 325,000km in aid of charity partner, Barretstown.
The initiative is backed by Michael Lyster, presenter of RTÉ’s The Sunday Game, who spoke of the severe heart problems he has suffered: “Almost three years ago I was diagnosed with chronic heart failure and this June suffered a massive, and what could have been life-ending, heart attack. I have since been fitted with a defibrillator and am delighted to say I am in great health.
“I cannot stress the important of cardiac screening. My experience in June showed me how quickly a problem with your heart can completely paralyse your body leaving you or others with very little time to react in order to save your life.
“Cardiac screening to detect these problems before they arise really can prove to be the difference between life and death.”
Lidl’s HeartBeat mobile cardiac-screening service is provided by Laya Healthcare with a purpose-built double-decker bus travelling to 143 Lidl stores, warehouses, and regional offices in 61 locations across the country to screen staff.
The testing involves a personal and family history questionnaire, a physical examination, and a full ECG, along with analysis of the medical data and a final report.
Lidl’s head of HR, Paul Martin, said the programme comes on foot of an initiative undertaken with Laya last year, which resulted in a life-saving journey for one young Lidl team member.
He participated in a free ECG at work which uncovered a number of holes in his heart, including one which was very large, meaning he was only processing a maximum of 50% of the oxygen he was breathing, and his heart could have stopped beating at any point.
“After open-heart surgery to repair the holes in his heart, he is now back in the gym and back on his bike training longer with more intensity,” Mr Martin said.
“10,000 people die from heart attack and stroke each year. Statistics have also shown that two young people are lost to sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) each week. In advance of the Healthy Heart Month, the Lidl screening allows for the detection of underlying heart conditions that may lead to or cause SADS; it will help identify many cardiac abnormalities and help to save lives.”
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