Researchers: Stress Linked to Heart Health Issues
You can create a healthier work environment that supports a heart healthy lifestyle and overall health improvement – to counter chronic stress and heart disease.
According to Web MD, researchers aren’t sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke. The prevalence of these heart disease risk factors is wide spread with 31 percent of U.S. adults having high cholesterol, and 16 percent of U.S. adults with high blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimates for direct and indirect costs of heart disease exceed $304 billion a year.
Establishing a heart healthy work environment is an effective way to engage employees in health awareness. In order to give your employees the best chance for success, worksite initiatives should be paired with a comprehensive cognitive behavioral program that will support and supplement the heart healthy behaviors you are encouraging among your employees, and teach them the best practices and skills needed to achieve and maintain lifelong heart health. Unfortunately most heart health plans do not address underlying cognitive issues—the unhelpful, habitual thought patterns that can sabotage even the best plans for behavior change. Employers can benefit from offering a solution that addresses the root psychological and behavioral challenges facing people who are trying to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle and provide The Oxygen Plan as a strategy for both the individual and workplace level for creating an environment that promotes heart healthy lifestyles.