Living Well with Hypertension – S10@Work
Hypertension – Live well, work well!
With a rapid change in lifestyles, work pressures, a fast-paced life and sedentary nature of modern office jobs hypertension has become a medical issue of significant importance and serious concern. Hypertension is caused when the blood pressure in your arteries is consistently too high. If the pressure rises and stays high, over time it can damage your vital organs like the heart, liver, brain and kidneys.
High blood pressure is aggravated by stress and stressful environments, such as work and the workplace. The following are some of the tips to successfully manage hypertension while maintaining your productivity at work
· Eat regular, smaller meal portions: Eat more of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods to keep you energized throughout the day.
· Kick the caffeine addiction: A trip to the cafe may be a good way to take a break from the computer but too much caffeine has its own issues. So, try cutting down and switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea.
· Limit or cut back on your salt intake: Choose foods low in salt and sodium. Make it a practice to take your own home-prepared lunch and snacks instead of buying fast foods at the cafeteria. This is because home-cooked food contains less salt, oil and preservatives. Pack a box of fresh fruits for evening snacks as well. Even if you happen to grab a quick packaged food, take time to check the nutrition facts label to find out the sodium percentage. Also increase your potassium intake as it takes some of the sodium out of your system and relaxes the walls of your blood vessels.
· Take a break: At-the-desk-job has made us unwitting sitters – spending hours perched on a chair slouching in front of the computer. Endless hours of inactive sitting and bad posture at your desk can raise your blood pressure. Request for a standing desk, a healthier option or make it a point to get up from your desk or work-station and take a quick walk, as this helps to lower your blood pressure. You can set a timer to go off every hour to remind you to stretch yourself or take a break.
· Manage stress: From the long-traffic filled commutes, project deadlines, targets and peer pressure various factors contribute to stress. And there is no doubt that stress raises blood pressure transiently. Stay calm and find ways to manage workplace stress by taking a brisk walk, practising deep breathing, meditation or listening to your favourite music when you drive back home.
· Limit alcohol consumption: If you are going to imbibe, moderation is the key. Too much of alcohol consumption can shoot up blood your pressure and reduce the effectiveness of hypertension medications.
· Keep moving: Make it a point to use the stairs instead of the elevator as it helps to get the daily dose of exercise. Being physically active improves blood circulation and keeps your heart in good shape, meaning it doesn’t have to work hard to pump blood.
· Say “NO” to smoking: When you light up, the nicotine you inhale can cause an instant but temporary increase in your blood pressure and heart rate. But in the long run the chemicals in tobacco can constrict the arteries and damage your blood vessel walls and cause a spike in your blood pressure.
With the above simple tips you can be on the path to a healthier, happier and more productive life. So, if you have high blood pressure, you need to keep it under control so that you can live and work at your best.