The American Heart Association estimates that 103 million U.S. adults are suffering from high blood pressure. That’s nearly half the adult population. It’s a staggering problem affecting the workforce.
This statistic published by The American Heart Association for 2018 is certainly scary and one in which we should take seriously. What we may not know however, is this increased risk for heart attacks and strokes in adults involves more than just diet and exercise.
When we think about health, our first inclination is to focus in on what we eat and how often we go to the gym. These factors are quite obvious and certainly play a major role in keeping our minds and bodies strong. Naturally, consuming a low fat, low sodium diet along with exercise sounds like a winning combination. We all should strive to follow these types of recommendations. But let’s be honest, when life gets in the way it’s easy to forget (or ignore) doctors orders.
Readers Digest shares 31 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid High Blood Pressure. Immediately, it’s clear that many of the tips involve diet. But, there are factors in our lives that can cause high blood pressure that many of us may not be totally aware of. Below are 4 areas in which you may be increasing your risk for high blood pressure while working:
Stress—and our inability to cope with it—makes everything worse, and high blood pressure is no exception. Carving out some “you time” can help boost mental and physical health.
It cannot be emphasized enough that finding a proper work/life balance and actually taking time off from work is vital to a person’s health. If you can never escape the pressure of your job, eventually your body will give out. Be kind to yourself. Take a vacation or find an after-work hobby.
2. NOT UNPLUGGING
Technology can make you sick, and chatting it up on your mobile phone has been shown to increase blood pressure, according to a study our of Italy’s Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital. It turns out that blood pressure readings of men and women who had mild to moderate high blood pressure jumped to 129/82 from 121/77 while they chatted on a mobile phone.
The Methodology Blog has suggested in the past, that avoiding your smartphone while at home is a smart move.
3. SLEEP DEPRIVATION
“When you get poor sleep, your heart does not get the ‘rest’ it needs, and over time, a lack of sleep could hurt your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, leading to high blood pressure,” says Los Angeles sleep expert Michael J. Breus, PhD, author of several books on sleep including the latest The Power of When. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, you are sleep deprived, he says. “Improve sleep hygiene by going to bed and waking at the same time every day (including weekends), keeping the bedroom cool and dark and avoiding stressful activities right before bed such as paying bills.”
As Americans, we tend to place a lot of pressure on ourselves in both our work and personal lives. This pressures causes stress which affects our sleep. Lack of sleep increases stress which affects our work. It’s a vicious cycle isn’t it? It’s time to combat messy sleep cycles.
4, TOO MUCH HAPPY AT HAPPY HOUR
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, but moderate alcohol consumption may help protect the heart. “Moderation is the key word here,” Dr. Heller says.
It’s not uncommon in business to meet up for Happy Hour or have a few cocktails over a dinner meeting. It’s a form of socialization and may even be consider a “perk” to employees when companies host holiday and/or quarterly parties at bars and restaurants. And while you may only have one or two drinks, when it becomes a regular occurrence, it’s time to evaluate just how much you’re indulging.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for many reasons–mainly for your lifespan. But, if you’re looking for more justification as to why you should unplug, sleep, and spend less time working and more time resting, consider that your health has a huge benefit to your productivity as well.