Heart disease, especially heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Australia with over 20,000 cases being recorded according to data presented by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
These statistics are even more shocking when you compare it to the second leading cause of death in Australia, which is dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cerebrovascular diseases that barely make it to 50% of the total cases compared to heart disease.
Help save lives during a heart attack by having an automated external defibrillator in your own workplace. Here at Alsco, we just don’t provide health and safety equipment, we also help your business be a safer place to work in. Don’t wait until a heart attack occurs. Get a defibrillator installed in your workplace immediately.
Till you get one installed, find the location of your nearest AED using the user-friendly, efficient, Google maps based website http://heartattackhelp.org.au/. Just type in your suburb or street name to find your nearest defibrillator or hospital.
Risk Factors of Heart Attacks
The first step to preventing and reducing the risk of heart attacks at the workplace is to learn what are the various risk factors of heart attacks.
Through extensive clinical and statistical studies gathered throughout the years, the risk factors have been categorised into two types of risk factors – major risk factors and contributing risk factors.
Major Risk Factors
Major risk factors heavily influence the chances of getting heart disease or heart attacks. These are major risk factors that one cannot change and they include:
Age – most people who die from heart disease and heart attacks usually are the age of 65 and up. This is why you can’t really avoid the increased chances of a heart attack as you grow older.
Sex – statistics have shown that men are more likely to have a heart attack than women and they even experience it earlier in life than compared to women.
Heredity – if your family has a history of heart disease and heart attacks, it is most likely that you too will have a high chance of acquiring these diseases from your heredity.
Race also plays a role in heredity risk factor when it comes to heart attacks since African Americans are more prone to higher blood pressure which also contributes to the risk of heart disease.
Contributing Risk Factors
Contributing risk factors, on the other hand, are factors you can influence to reduce the chances of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
Tobacco smoking – smoking is a major independent risk factor that contributes to various health problems and not just heart attacks.
High blood cholesterol – people who have higher blood cholesterol are more prone to heart disease as well coupled with smoking and high blood pressure. Although you should remember that not all cholesterol is bad since High-density-lipoprotein (HDL) is actually very healthy in regulating the low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) which is the bad cholesterol.
High blood pressure – having high blood pressure will cause your heart muscles to thicken and stiffen up which leads to various problems of your heart’s proper function. High blood pressure increases the chance of kidney failures and strokes as well.
Obesity and overweight – people who have too much fat and are obese or overweight are more prone to heart diseases such as heart attacks and other health problems such as strokes. Obesity or being overweight also contributes to higher blood pressure and blood cholesterol, which makes it a really dangerous contributing risk factor.
Physical inactivity – living a sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activities will make you more prone to heart attacks. Remember that regular exercise helps blood flow and prevents various heart related diseases including heart attacks.
Diabetes – another contributing risk factor which comes with the previously mentioned, being overweight or obese and having too many sweets in your diet will lead to diabetes. Not to mention diabetes also contributes to the risk of strokes and other heart diseases.
Diet and Nutrition – following through with diabetes; it is important to have proper diet and nutrition to prevent heart disease and heart attacks. What you eat greatly affects the the risks of heart attacks. Make sure your diet is packed with Omega-3 rich fish and nuts, low fat foods, antioxidant loaded berries. Here are some superfoods that we cooked up for you.
Alcohol – too much alcohol consumption will lead to an increase in blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer.
Stress – different people have different reactions or responses to stress, but some studies have shown the link between heart disease and stress.
Illegal drug use – the use of illegal drugs and stimulants can trigger spasms in your heart and arteries which lead to heart attacks.
What You Can Do to Minimise the Risks of Heart Attacks at Your Workplace
As you can see there are a lot of risk factors to consider when it comes to heart attacks at your workplace. Although some of them can’t be prevented or avoided such as the age, sex, and heredity, there are plenty of risk factors that you can control to minimise the chances of a heart attack.
With that in mind, here are few tips you could implement at your workplace to reduce the chances of heart attacks amongst your colleagues and improve the productivity of your business as well.
- One of the first steps to take in your workplace is to support and acknowledge the risks of heart attacks in the first place. Making the necessary changes to reduce the risks of heart attacks is not an easy task, but if your employees know that you have their support then rest assured those changes will be easily implemented in no time.
- Once there is a commitment from the management, you should start to organise an orientation of the risks, and the program and changes you will be implementing at your workplace to reduce the chances of heart attacks. There will be a lot of planning, resource management, and cooperation from your employees so make sure you discuss everything before moving forward with anything.
- If your business has a cafeteria or serves any sort of food and drinks, it is a great idea to introduce healthier food options for you and your employees.
- Another great idea is to set up an exercise program for everyone – for your employees and for you as well. It can be a simple routine with exercises such as jogging, pushups, and so on, that do not need any equipment, just extra clothes.
- Implementing longer breaks or adding more break times for your employees will reduce stress levels significantly. Nobody wants to work for extended periods of time, and not to mention, it is good to get some rest or to stretch out a bit so your body can feel more energised and be more productive.
- Incorporating first aid kits and automated external defibrillators in your workplace can greatly help save lives and reduce the chances of deaths, accidents, and health related problems.
Reduce the risk of heart attacks in your workplace. Give us a call on 1300 077 391 and our friendly customer service representative will answer all your inquiries about first aid kits, automated external defibrillators, and much more. Speak to an expert today!