Stay well at work

Workplace Wellness is the theme of this year’s World Heart Day, being celebrated today(September 26). The objective is to promote healthy habits in the workplace to prevent heart disease.

This year the World Heart Day calls on professionals and companies to take steps to promote healthy activities and adopt good eating habits. With cardiovascular diseases emerging as the world’s largest killers, claiming more than 17 million lives a year, it is time to take steps to curb habits which lead to heart disease, stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and very high glucose levels. All this can be achieved if we only quit smoking, start taking fruits and vegetables, cut down on deep fried foods and alcohol and become physically active so that we do not remain overweight and obese — the prime causes of heart attack.

The 21st century has seen many corporates and companies focussing on the health and health related issues of their employees. These issues have become a part of their corporate agenda. Gymnasiums are being set up in the office areas, yoga classes are conducted by professionals in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening. Not only are employers realising the importance of the health of their employees, but employees are also trying to make full use of these facilities.

However, more and more employees, especially when they are young, need to be motivated to change their habits so that they can play an active role in improving their own health as well as the health of their co workers. Take control of your heart health when you are young. And if you have missed the bus and realise that you have reached the forties without being physically active, it is not late or difficul to take charge of your own health even at this stage. You can start by sharing ideas with friends, and get motivated and start motivating others to work towards enjoying the fruits of good health.

Workplace Wellness theme aims to promote the workplace as the ideal setting to adopt healthy behaviour to prevent heart disease and stroke. The day calls on individuals to make a start with 10 simple steps to stay healthy. These are:

Food focus: Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables. This way you can avoid saturated fat. Avoid processed foods.

Stay active: Thirty minutes of physical activity can do wonders to your heart health and prevent attacks and strokes.

No to tobacco: Quit smoking and your risk of heart attack will be halved within a year and you will be the owner of a healthy heart soon.

Maintain weight: Neither lose weight nor allow it to shoot up. Weight loss leads to lower blood pressure, while if you are overweight you will be prone to stroke and heart diseases.

Regular health check ups: Let professionals measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, together with waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index (bmi). Once overall risk is identified, develop a specific heart health plan.

Smoke-free environs: Your workplace must be 100% smoke free. Help those who want to quit tobacco or smoking.

Exercise: Physical activity must be part of your working schedule — avoid lift and take the stairs, exercise or go for a walk during your lunch breaks. Encourage others to do so too.

Eat healthy: Go for health food at your canteen. Frequent cafes or restaurants that serve healthy meals.

Star stress free: Stress leads to smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy eating which are risk factors for heart disease. So make an effort to stay stress free.