JOBS and the industries people work in can have a huge impact on heart health, a new survey has revealed – with workers who aren’t offered workplace schemes having hearts 2.4 years older than their real age.
Teachers and medical professionals’ hearts are in the best condition while manual workers fare the worst, new figures have revealed.
For Hearts at Work, a campaign created by Bupa and the World Heart Federation, over 60,000 people globally took a heart age check, including 11,000 people from the UK.
The check calculates the user’s heart age based on personal health details such as blood pressure, family medical history, and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking.
The data from the check found that teachers and those working in medicine had the best heart health.
Medical professionals had a heart age 1.6 years younger than their real age on average, while the ages for teachers is the same.
However, manual workers and employees within the transport and logistics and construction sectors were found to have the worst heart health, with lifestyle risk factors for heart disease such as smoking being extremely high within these industries.
Nearly a third – 30 per cent – of manual workers who took the heart age check smoked.
However, 13 per cent of medical professionals smoked – the lowest smoking rates out of all professions who took the test.
In addition, those taking the test who smoked were found to have heart ages eight years older than their real age – demonstrating how damaging smoking is to heart health.
Dr Fiona Adshead, chief wellbeing officer at Bupa said: “The data from the heart age check confirms what we’ve known for some time – that people’s health varies with job type and economic sector; and is related to a number of different factors such as socioeconomic determinants, lifestyle and the physical environment.
“However, it also shows that employers can have a significant impact on the health of their employees by making relatively small changes.
“While not all businesses may have the resources to put into place extensive workplace health programmes, even small provisions like digital health tools or stop smoking services can make a big difference in helping employees be heart-healthier and more heart-aware.
“Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally and with half of the world’s population in work, employers have a huge opportunity to support their employees in having longer, healthier, happier lives.”
Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation said just a ‘few simple steps’ such as eating more healthily and cutting down on alcohol can improve heart health.
The concept of ‘heart age’ was created to help people to improve their perception of their heart attack or stroke risk.