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Heart Health Includes Knowing Emergency Warning Signs

Heart Health Includes Knowing Emergency Warning Signs

Considering the amount of our waking hours we spend at work each week, improving one’s own heart health while being alert for the warning signs of heart disease in co-workers are the first steps in creating a healthy workplace. February is American Heart Month, providing an ideal opportunity to promote heart-healthy habits that can result in fewer sick days and enhanced productivity.

Getting the day off to a good start with a healthy breakfast is a logical first step. Foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats are a healthy choice, such as eggs on whole-grain toast. Skip the fried hash browns and opt instead for low-fat yogurt or fruit.

Foods high in salt content also are best avoided, since they can contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. Processed foods often have high salt content, making fresh vegetables and lean cuts of fresh meat the preferable choices.

Minimizing stress at work is easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to reduce this potential contributor to high blood pressure.

Schedule a little extra time between appointments to ensure you’re not racing from one meeting to the next. Delegate when possible and say “no” when appropriate, and use a task list to help you stay on track.

Try to eat lunch away from your desk whenever possible. Taking a timeout away from your workstation gives your brain the opportunity to recover, enables your stress level to ease and often results in a healthier pace of eating. Getting outside the building for a brisk walk during your break provides an opportunity for a little exercise while clearing your mind.

Cutting back on alcohol consumption and eliminating tobacco products have been shown to improve overall health on multiple levels. Rather than having a calming influence, nicotine actually causes a spike in blood pressure and heart rate. Long-term tobacco use can damage blood vessel walls and increase the likelihood of heart attack or stroke.

Know the Warning Signs

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – or a physician – to recognize the symptoms of a heart-related emergency. More employers today are training workers on the common warning signs of heart attack so they can seek medical assistance or call 911.

Unusual pain, such as tightness in the chest, is the most common symptom of an impending heart emergency. Changes in energy level also can signal a problem, and individuals who suddenly become sluggish or lethargic, or seem out of breath for no reason may be in the midst of a heart episode.

Symptoms such as nausea, lightheadedness and sweating may or may not be associated with a heart emergency, but it’s best to err on the side of safety and call 911 if these symptoms come on suddenly. Women are more likely than men to present these types of nonpain symptoms when having a heart emergency.

Each employer should have policies and procedures in place pertaining to health-related emergencies. For example, after calling 911, many employers require that human resources be notified as soon as possible so they can contact any family members.

Story Credit: https://www.sfmc.net/healthy-business/heart-health-includes-knowing-emergency-warning-signs/