World Heart Day 2010



September 26 was World Heart Day. This year’s observance spearheaded by World Heart Federation focuses on Workplace Wellness: Take responsibility for your own heart health, with the slogan “I work with Heart.” The Workplace Wellness program outlines 10 simple steps on how we can live a healthy lifestyle and make our workplace a healthy place:

1. 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.

2. Get active & take heart – Even 30 minutes of activity can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes and your work will benefit too.

3. 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.

4. Maintain a healthy weight – Weight loss, especially together with lowered 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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

8. 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. Have regular breaks during the day – try stretching or exercising for 5 minutes twice a day.

9. Choose healthy food options- Ask for healthy food at your work canteen, or find nearby cafes or restaurants that serve healthy meals

10. Encourage stress-free moments -whilst stress has not been shown to be a direct risk factor 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.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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