National Heart Month – What are you doing for February?

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has long since made February, National Heart Month in the UK.  Awareness is bought to the fore with the BHF’s Ramp up the Red campaign which encourages people of all ages to wear as much red as they can on February 7th.

There are many different heart conditions and problems. Together, they are called heart disease.  They include angina, heart attack, heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms – as well as many other conditions including congenital heart disease and inherited heart conditions.  There are over two and a half million people in the UK living with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and it causes over 82,000 deaths annually.  

Understanding heart conditions is an incredibly difficult task – there are lots of different types and understanding how the heart works is more helpful when trying to learn about these conditions.  But looking at the facts will benefit yourself, your employees and the people you love in the long run.

There are several aspects a person can influence such as managing diet, keeping fit, and watching your blood pressure are just a few important factors.  The British Heart Foundation’s webpage has information about heart diseases and ways in which you can beat them.  Also, don’t forget to get your free fundraising kit!  

Healthy Performance are actively promoting National Heart Month and are encouraging employers to raise awareness of the dangers of Heart Disease to their employees.  The most effective way is via onsite checks which cover blood pressure and total cholesterol checks.  Why do these tests matter?

Firstly, a blood pressure is the force that your blood pushes on the walls of the arteries. If you have high blood then essentially there is a strain on the arteries and the heart.  This can increase the risk of heart disease but also, strokes and kidney disease.

Around 30% of adults in England have high blood pressure but most don’t know they have the condition. It often presents no symptoms, but it’s important because it raises the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke.  A blood pressure test is quick and painless, and provides people with an instant result.

Secondly, it is essential that a person has enough cholesterol in their bodies in order to work effectively.  However, too much cholesterol can cause our arteries to become blocked, which increases our risk of heart disease and stroke.

The risk of coronary heart disease (when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or disrupted) rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases and this can cause angina during physical activity.

Similarly to blood pressure, having a high cholesterol level itself doesn’t cause any symptoms which means that a person could have high cholesterol and not know about it.  The only way to know your cholesterol level is to have it tested.

To find out more about what Healthy Performance are doing to promote National Heart Month and how we can help you raise awareness amongst employees then please contact us.