According to research from the British Heart Foundation, employees in Scotland could be putting their heart health at risk due to the pressures of their job. As a result, employers have been urged to help their staff kick-start a healthier lifestyle during the charity’s Heart Month of February.
Obesity, lack of physical activity, alcohol and smoking increase the risk of coronary heart disease, the nation’s single biggest killer. And whilst stress is not a direct risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is possible that it may contribute to an employees risk level. It can all depend on their coping mechanisms. Some people will then cope with stress with risky behaviour – such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and overeating. All of these increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The BHF survey revealed some shocking statistics, none more so than one third of Scottish workers put on weight because of their job and nearly 40% of Scottish workers felt their job adversely affected their health in the last five years.
Almost 50% said their job had driven them to eat less healthily, and nearly two-fifths said they were taking less exercise. Furthermore, nearly a quarter said their job led to them to drink more alcohol, and one-in-10 said it has been a trigger for smoking more.
Employers encouraging their workforce to take as little as 10 minutes every day to improve their health at work can lead to significant benefits in employee heart health and productivity.
Productivity loss as a result of heart and circulatory conditions is estimated to cost businesses £8 billion a year, but research shows that the vast majority of companies with employee wellness programmes benefit from reduced sickness absence and an increase in output.
You can sign up for the British Heart Foundation 10 minute challenge by clicking here.