September 26 is World Heart Day
Tacloban City (September 14) -- World Heart Day on September 26, 2010 marks a 10-year milestone after the first World Heart Day in 2000.
At this 10-year milestone, the World Health Organization and the World Heart Federation call on governments, healthcare professionals, employers and individuals to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke.
This year's celebration is targeting the workplace to promote heart healthy messages. The Workplace Wellness initiative aims to use the workplace to promote long-term behavioral changes that will benefit employers, employees and communities.
Cardiovascular diseases are the world's largest killers, claiming 17.1 million lives a year. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include raised blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
On World Heart Day, everyone is called upon to take responsibility for his or her own heart health and say "I work with Heart."
There are 10 simple steps that one can take or one can encourage people to start by taking at least one.
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 - The 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 alcohol intake - Restrict the amount of alcoholic drinks that one consumes. Excessive alcohol intake can cause blood pressure to rise and 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 the workplace to get some fresh air - Have regular breaks during the day - try stretching or exercising for 5 minutes twice a day. (PIA 8) [top]