Started by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day is a campaign promoting ways to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) around the globe. CVD includes heart disease and stroke, which claim 17.5 million lives every year. World Heart Day focuses on tangible actions that people, communities and governments around the world can take to eliminate at least 80% of these early deaths from cardiovascular disease.
Know your CVD risks
To know your own risk, the World Heart Federation suggests the following checks.
- Check your blood glucose levels. High blood glucose (or blood sugar) can be a sign of diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher rate of death from CVD.
- Check your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for CVD. If you’re using a blood pressure monitor at home, make sure to follow tips for getting the most accurate numbers, including: measure your BP twice daily, avoid caffeine before the test, take a moment to relax, and don’t place the cuff over your clothing.
- Know all your numbers. Along with blood sugar and blood pressure, a checkup should also cover cholesterol, weight, and body mass index (BMI).
- Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack. More than 70% of all cardiac emergencies happen at home. Signs of heart attack can include chest discomfort; pain in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
It’s also important to know and recognize the signs of stroke by thinking “F.A.S.T.”
Make a promise to look after your heart
Make a simple promise to:
- Eat well and drink wisely – choosing water instead of sugary beverages, eating five portions of fruit and veggies a day, drinking alcohol in moderation, and avoiding processed foods
- Get more active – aiming for at least 30 minutes of activity 5 times a week; track your progress to stay motivated
- Say “no” to smoking – if you’re a smoker, this is the most important decision to focus on, even if the others need to come later. Get help if you need it!
How to support World Heart Day
The World Heart Day site offers tools to help you promote the movement including:
- Create your own poster
- Download a toolkit to promote heart health at work or in organizations you belong to
- Spread the word on social media with a digital toolkit
Along with your promise, take the pledge
Omron supports World Heart Day so strongly because it lines up with our mission of Going for Zero™, to pursue a world without heart attacks and strokes. Take the Going for Zero Pledge and share your commitment with your family and friends.