Work-related stress has been found to increase the risk of heart problems. Researchers from the University College London have associated stress at work with a 23 percent increase in the risk of heart attack. And Harvard researchers say women whose work is highly stressful have a 40 percent increased risk of heart disease compared with their less-stressed colleagues, including risk of heart attacks.
If you have a demanding job, which may in fact include most small business owners, it is in your best interest to take measures to manage stress and prevent the heart risks your work is causing.
Ways to Reduce Heart Related Health Risks at Work
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should not allow your health to suffer due to the demands of your work. CDC acknowledges the dangers of work-related stress and recommends some healthy behaviors to combat the risk of heart problems:
1. Stop Smoking
Not smoking is one of the most important ways CDC identifies for preventing heart disease and lung cancer. Quit smoking and using other forms of tobacco to avert heart issues.
2. Limit Alcohol Use
Excessive drinking is bad for your heart and productivity. Cut or limit your alcohol intake to stay healthy.
3. Limit Salt Intake
Too much salt (sodium) in your diet can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems. Limit your salt intake to ensure you maintain normal blood pressure.
4. Limit Sugar Intake
Similarly, too much sugar in your diet can raise you blood sugar levels, which can lead to heart problems. Limit your sugar intake to prevent or control heart disease.
5. Limit Cholesterol Intake
Eating foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fat increases the risk of coming down with heart problems. Eat foods high in fiber instead to prevent high cholesterol and avoid heart issues.
6. Maintain Healthy Weight
Lack of sleep is cited as one reason people sometimes become overweight and end up feeling tired and cranky all the time at work. If you lose enough sleep, you could be too tired look for healthy eating options like fresh fruits and vegetables or to exercise. Make sure one of your strategies for maintaining a healthy weight is getting enough sleep each night, 6 to 9 hours of shuteye at least.
7. Stay Physically Active
Engaging in physical activities like jogging, bicycling or walking is another factor identified as central to preventing obesity, heart disease and helping to improve productivity.
The CDC notes most Americans engage in two or three of these healthy behaviors, but only a handful do all seven. It is important that you and your team adopt all seven habits to stay healthy at work.
More Tips for a Healthy Heart at Work
Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiac surgeon based in Palm Springs, CA, medical innovator, and the mind behind Gundry MD, offers additional tips to upgrade your workday from harmful to healthy. From the type of food you eat to how long you stare at a computer screen, his tips provide effective ways to stay healthy at work.
Check out Dr. Gundy’s tips in this neat inforgraphic below.