Each February, during American Heart Month we focus on the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States: Heart Disease. More than 650,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. That’s one in four deaths, meaning that most Americans have been touched by heart disease in some way.
In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control is shining a light on hypertension, or high blood pressure, one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. Hypertension is often called the silent killer because there are typically no symptoms. People at any age can develop high blood pressure and African Americans face a significantly higher risk of hypertension. In 2019, more than half a million deaths in the United States had hypertension as a primary or contributing cause. Nearly half of adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension.
Prevention and Control
The good news is that high blood pressure can be prevented and controlled through some basic lifestyle choices. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet – The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is a healthy diet plan with a proven record of helping people lower their blood pressure.
- Staying at a healthy weight – Find out if your weight is healthy by calculating your BMI and visiting the CDC website to assess it.
- Being physically active – At least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended per week, or 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Getting enough sleep
- Finding ways to cope with stress (meditation, exercise, getting outdoors, etc.)
If you do have high blood pressure it can be managed by consulting with your physician, monitoring your blood pressure regularly, making healthy lifestyle changes and taking any necessary medications as directed.
American Heart Month and the Workplace
Workplaces can join in American Heart Month efforts and possibly save lives by:
- Raising awareness and providing education to employees about high blood pressure and heart disease (visit the CDC website for resources)
- Supporting healthy lifestyle choices. Consider having healthy snacks in the breakroom, offering discounted gym memberships or starting a walking club
- Being prepared for emergencies. Do you and others at work know CPR? Does your company have an AED machine on the premises? Both are proven to save lives when it counts. If not, now is the time to contact TSS. During the month of February each year, we offer a complete AED and CPR package at a special price. To learn more get in touch with your local TSS office today at 1-877-225-1431 or firstname.lastname@example.org