UCL News


Occupational Health Service: national heart month

9 February 2012

February is National Heart Month - every single one of us has a heart, which means every one of us is at risk of having heart disease.

Managing your diet, keeping fit and managing your blood pressure are just a few important factors that can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and help maintain a healthy heart. The British Heart Foundation has information on all you need to know about what's needed for a healthy heart.

People who are physically active are less likely to get cardiovascular disease than those who are inactive. Even though stress is not a direct risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is possible that it may contribute to it.

If you are finding it difficult to cope and need advice on personal or work related issues, contact your employee assistance programme (Username: UCL / Password: employee) or call on 0800 243 45824 hours a day 7 days a week.

Here are some top tips to help you maintain a healthy heart:-

  • Staying Active - Provides long term benefits for heart health. It helps control your weight, reduce blood pressure and improve your mental health - helping you to look and feel great. Adults should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week. Get Active Your Way.
  • Healthy Eating - Can stop you gaining too much weight, which will help to reduce your blood pressure; and maintaining a low fat diet will lower your cholesterol. Eat Well.
  • Alcohol - It is important to keep within the recommended guidelines whether you drink once a day, once or twice a week or just occasionally. Be Drink Aware.
  • Smoking - This is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease - smokers are more likely than non smokers to develop heart disease because of the chemicals in cigarettes, reducing the oxygen in your blood, increasing your hearth rate and causing fatty deposits to narrow your arteries and make your blood more likely to clot. How much is smoking costing you?
  • Finally get a lifestyle Check! -The British Heart Foundation have expert telephone support via the heart helpline on 0300 330 3300. You can also visit your GP with you lifestyle check results at your next appointment.

Further support

British Heart Foundation

Life-saving skills 

What to do in a Medical Emergency at UCL

Elaine Fletcher Occupational Health Adviser Human Resources Division