18 October 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Bosses take note. You can help your employees to check on their health by providing a good digital blood pressure set that everyone at the work place can use.

Not only that. Employers should also provide weighing scales and measuring tapes to check on their workers’ girth.

Giving these tips, the Heart Foundation of Malaysia said regular measurements and readings – once or twice a month, for instance – should be made and recorded to avoid the dreaded cardiovascular disease.

“If you find your readings are abnormal, consult your doctor,” advised foundation chairman Datuk Dr J.S. Sambhi.

“Although half of the deaths from cardiovascular diseases are preventable with simple lifestyle changes, there has been limited progress due to the ‘It will not happen to me’ attitude,” he said at the foundation’s 10th Walk-A-Mile campaign at the Taman Tasek Titiwangsa park here yesterday.

The event, themed Workplace Wellness, was launched by the Health Ministry’s medical development director Datuk Dr Azmi Shapie.

Dr Sambhi said wellness at the workplace can reduce cardiovascular deaths by more than 50% if, among others, it provides a stress-free environment.

He said the work place should also provide a completely smoke-free environment to keep the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys and other organs safe, adding that exercise is also important.

“There is no excuse for not doing exercise even at work,” said Dr Sambhi, adding that walking is the best exercise.

He also advocates a “heart healthy” diet and avoiding sweet and high-caloried water.

Speaking to the media later, Dr Sambhi said a recent survey showed that the ratio of heart diseases in urban and rural areas was almost the same.

The perception that it is an “urban disease” came about because some cases in the rural areas go undetected.

He said high-risk groups include those aged 40 and above and women who have hit menopause.

Those who have a family history of heart problems also face a high risk of getting the disease even if they are below 40.

Patients suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also at risk of getting heart problems, Dr Sambhi said.

More than 500 people took part in the Walk-A-Mile campaign, which is also supported by Nestle and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

This article was published in www.thestar.com.my on 27 September 2010