February is American Heart Month!
Here is an “HR Appropriate” way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the workplace! Raise awareness for heart health, get it? Sponsor a heart healthy event, plan a potluck of heart healthy food, or post heart healthy tips around the office.
According to the CDC:
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.
- Every year about 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 610,000 are a first heart attack. 325,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
- Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
Know Your Risk Factors:
- High blood pressure
- High LDL cholesterol
(About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors!)
High Risk Medical Conditions & Lifestyle Choices:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
What Can We Do?
Lowering you blood pressure and cholesterol will reduce your risk of dying of heart disease. Here are some tips to protect your heart:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt; low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.