Our Liverpool-based Workplace Wellbeing Consultant, Suzanne, looks at the importance of checking your blood pressure and gives some tips to help combat high and low Blood Pressure in your workplace.
For health and wellbeing, what is important to you? Diet? Exercise? Weight? Cholesterol? What about Blood Pressure? Research demonstrates that high blood pressure is a growing global health issue. More than a quarter of adults in the UK, approximately 12.5 million people have high blood pressure with 2.1 million under the age of 45.
Often symptom free, many of us don’t know that we may be affected. An estimated 5.5 million people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.
High stress levels can raise blood pressure and furthermore increases an individual’s risk of adopting unhealthy behaviours including reduced levels of physical activity, comfort eating and weight gain, drinking alcohol and smoking. All of which are associated with high blood pressure.
For most of us a lack of awareness of blood pressure or a lack of time may be the reason why we don’t take time out for ourselves to have our blood pressure checked, but it is extremely important. Why is it important? Overtime, consistently high blood pressure increases the risk of developing poor health conditions. High blood pressure can increase risk of kidney conditions, vascular dementia and is the third highest risk factor for heart disease. The damaging affects to the circulatory system causes more than 50% of heart attacks and strokes. Having regular checks and treatment reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 17%, your risk of stroke by 27% and your risk of heart failure by 28%.
The ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg, low blood pressure is 90/60 mmHg and below and high blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg and above.
In an aim to raise awareness, we at Health@Work are hosting four drop-in blood pressure stations during Blood Pressure UK’s campaign Know Your Numbers Week during 10th – 17th September 2018. Venue and session times are as follows:
The Lobby, Avenue HQ, 17 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP
Monday 10th September 2018 12:00pm – 17:00pm
Wednesday 12th September 2018 10:00am – 14:00pm
Thursday 13th September 2018 09:00am – 13:00pm
Friday 14th September 2018 13:00pm – 16:00pm
If you would like your blood pressure checked, just pop along to the venue at a time convenient for you for a friendly assessment with one of our Health@Work consultants. No appointment is necessary.
What can you do as an employer to support your workforce reduce their blood pressure?
The British Heart Foundation (2018) estimates the wider costs to the economy from Cardiovascular Disease is in the region of 19 billion. British Heart Foundation (2016) demonstrates that investing in workplace health initiatives improve productivity, reduce presenteeism and sickness absence, therefore the benefits to organisations outweigh the costs.
New Balance UK, John West, Brabners Liverpool and Manchester, The Dental Council, Citypress and Essity, are among the number of organisations who have invited Health@Work in to their workplace to deliver health checks to employees. Health checks raise employee awareness of their lifestyle behaviours and how this may affect their health as well as providing advice and support to organisations to identify where workplace health provision can be improved to support employee wellbeing.
Provide employees with time to attend a Know Your Numbers blood pressure station Purchasing an office BP machine for employees can check their blood pressure regularly
Providing whole organisation health checks
Supporting the improvement of employee lifestyle and health knowledge by providing information around nutrition, physical activity, smoking, alcohol and mental health
Raising employee awareness of links to Change4Life, NHS Choices, MIND, DrinkAware and local Smoking Cessation Services
Nominating a health and wellbeing champion to proactively promote and organise workplace health initiatives alongside national health campaigns like Know Your Numbers Week. For example, Salt Awareness Week, Dry January, Obesity Awareness Week, Stoptober and Mental Health Awareness Week.
Proactively encouraging employees to eat healthier and participate in physical activity at work including using stairs instead of lifts, walking lunches and pedometer challenges.