Happy World Heart Day!
Ten years after the first World Heart Day in September 2000, the World Heart Federation and its members are celebrating the progress made in heart health.
World Heart Day is the largest global awareness campaign on heart disease and stroke, initiated by the World Heart Federation.
The focus of this year’s campaign is on Workplace Wellness and the ways employers and employees can promote a heart-healthy workplace by adopting workplace-wellness programmes.
Did you know that nearly a third (32%) of employees feels their workplace actually hinders their ability to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to new independent research.
Here are the 10 simple steps to start living a healthier life:
- Healthy food intake – Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and avoid saturated fat. Beware of processed foods, which often contain high levels of salt.
- Get active & take heart – Even 30 minutes of activity can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes and your work will benefit too.
- Say no to tobacco – Your risk of coronary heart disease will be halved within a year and will return to a normal level over time.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Weight loss, especially together with lower ed salt intake, leads to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major factor for approximately half of all heart disease and stroke.
- Know your numbers – Visit a healthcare professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, together with waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index (bmi). Once you know your overall risk,you can develop a specific plan of action to improve your heart health.
- Limit your alcohol intake – Restrict the amount of alcoholic drinks that you consume. Excessive alcohol intake can cause your blood pressure to rise and your weight to increase.
- Insist on a smoke-free environment
Demand a tobacco ban – ensure your workplace is 100% smoke-free
Support the adoption of smoking – cessation services encourage your employer to provide help to those wanting to quit tobacco
- Bring exercise to the workplace – Include physical activity in your working schedule – cycle to work if this is possible, take the stairs, exercise or go for a walk during your lunch breaks, and encourage others to do so too
- Choose healthy food options – Ask for healthy food at your work canteen, or find nearby cafes or restaurants that serve healthy meals
- Encourage stress-free moments -whilst stress has not been shown to be a direct risk fact or for heart disease and stroke, it is related to smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy eating, which are risk factors for heart disease.
– Take time for lunch away from your workplace to get some fresh air
– Have regular breaks during the day – try stretching or exercising for 5 minutes twice a day