Cardiovascular Risks: Is Your Job a Factor?

Industries and sectors with an elevated risk of heart disease

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, heart disease is the most common cause of death among both the working and non-working population.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) estimates approximately 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests strike while individuals are in the workplace each year. And many risk factors are based on a person’s lifestyle, including their work environment. Different industries present varying degrees of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Risk factors such as diet and exercise are controllable, however, for some professions, the risks are intrinsic to the job.

4 job-related risk factors for heart disease

Before delving into the specific industries, it’s important to understand conditions that can contribute to poor cardiovascular health.

  1. Chemicals. High levels of exposure to chemicals such as carbon disulfide, methylene chloride, and nitrate esters are thought to contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  2. Stress. Whether it stems from demanding supervisors or clients, excessive workloads, or tedium, most jobs come equipped with built-in stressors. Studies have shown a relationship between work-related stress and cholesterol concentrations, as well as the development of CVD.
  3. Exposure to extreme temperatures. For workers already suffering from CVD, workplace exposure to heat can cause a reduction in blood supply to the heart. On the other side of the extreme, working in cold storage or freezing weather may cause coronary artery spasms even in otherwise healthy people.
  4. Noise. Extensive exposure to noise over 80 decibels can cause an increase in blood pressure. Additional factors include unpredictable loud noises and noises that are disharmonious or don’t contribute to the job in a meaningful way, such as in factories or on construction sites.

4 high-risk industries

Each field contains its own blend of the above-mentioned risk factors. The following industries are thought to be at greatest risk for CVD.

  1. Hospitality. In addition to the stress associated with customer demands, those employed by hotels, restaurants, and bars tend to work irregular shifts. The disruption of sleep patterns presented by inconsistent schedules has been shown to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  2. Desk jobs. While not a specific industry, sitting at a desk all day can affect how our bodies process glucose and burn fat. Multiple studies suggest that sitting for more than half the day doubles the risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
  3. Protective services. A CDC study reported that 90 percent of police, firefighters, and security guards are overweight; 77 percent had high cholesterol, and 35 percent suffered hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition, these professions also present officers and firefighters with life-or-death situations that contribute to stress-related CVD.
  4. Wholesale. While the direct link to heart disease in this field is unclear, long hours may contribute to the 2.9 percent of workers in the field who suffered heart disease or stroke.

How to protect Florida’s workers

Changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise, can significantly reduce the risk of CVD. While such changes are up to the individual, there are ways companies can contribute to employee health through wellness programs, as well as prepare for job-site heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests. CPR training and on site automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) can increase survival rates by up to 70%.

One Beat CPR + AED offers individual and group training courses in both CPR and AED use. For more information about our American Heart Association-authorized training centers, we encourage you to connect with us online or at 954-321-5305.

These Foods Will Hurt Your Heart

These Foods Will Hurt Your Heart on onebeatcpr.com

If it’s fast and convenient – and mass produced – you probably want to make it a treat rather than a regular part of your diet.

Stop it, you’re killing me! Your heart isn’t complimenting you on your great taste in jokes. It’s sending you a silent plea to stop chowing down on certain foods that are basically shortening your life by making it very difficult for your heart to do its job.

Not all food is created equal. You already know this. It’s impossible not to reach a certain age and have heard about what overconsumption of saturated fats or even sodium can do to your heart and cardiovascular system. There’s no reason, though, to remove all the joy from eating in order to be healthy. You’re about to read a list of foods that really are heart-killers—which simply means you should make them occasional treats instead of a part of your regular diet.

A burger from your favorite fast-food chain

Okay, the debate rages on about whether there’s a true correlation between heart disease and saturated fats from red meat. There are also interesting results from studies showing that high-quality grass-fed beef might have some heart-health benefits—when consumed in moderation.

While the debate continues, do your heart a favor and avoid fast-food burgers. They taste good, but it’s often because of processed ingredients to compensate for lower quality beef and unhealthy cooking methods. Saturated fats from animal meats combined with carbohydrates—which is the “TLDNR” recipe for the average fast-food burger—appear to have a negative impact on heart health.

Deep-fried anything

Crunch, crunch. It’s the texture as much as the taste. We love fried foods, but those French fries don’t love our hearts. A growing number of studies have linked fried foods to an increased risk of heart disease. Here’s why.

Conventional frying creates a certain type of fat known as trans fats. These fats have been shown to elevate our bad cholesterol level, while suppressing the good cholesterol. So, we lose out in both directions when we help ourselves to more fried chicken.

Does this mean abandoning fried foods altogether? Take a deep breath and continue with your stir-fry at home. You’re likely using either coconut oil (the latest rage) or olive oil. These are not the same oils that are used in bulk by fast-food franchises and casual food restaurant chains.

Sweet surrender

Sprinkling a spoonful of sugar on your morning cereal isn’t the largest source of sugar in your diet. It likely doesn’t come from the food you eat at all. Most of it comes from that can or bottle of soda you had at lunch. Or, maybe in lieu of coffee for breakfast.

Don’t be so quick to congratulate yourself if you opted for a container of fruit juice instead of a soda. Read the label and you just might find that the juice has been sweetened with either sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

While sugary drinks tend to make up our overload of the sweet stuff, most mass-produced cookies and pastries are just as unhealthy. They taste so great because they’re full of sugar, plus either partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (a trans-fat) or either butter or palm oil (saturated fats).

The cure is bad for you

Why do we love bacon? It’s an operatic ode to saturated fat. Yes, it’s true that you can find an interesting selection of low-fat cured meats and cold cuts. But how are they made in order to compete with the full-fat versions? Crank up the sodium content—and not just a smidgen.

The American Heart Association reports that 6 thin slices of deli meat—about the amount you’ll find on a fast-food chain sandwich, loads you up with half of the amount of sodium you should consume in a whole day.

The heart connection to sodium is simple. It’s important that you watch—and even restrict—your salt intake because of sodium’s link to high blood pressure. Having your doctor tell you that you have high blood pressure doesn’t mean a mandatory regimen of medication. You may—with your doctor’s help—be able to manage high blood pressure just by eating fewer high-sodium foods.

Pizza

No.

Alas, yes. But does this really surprise you? If you visited the American Heart Association link above, you know that pizza ranks #2 on its list of salty foods. This is especially true for the beloved “meat-lovers” type of pizza.

It’s a potent unhealthy combination of sodium and saturated fat. Bump up the bad numbers by adding more cheese and meat toppings. Feel free to refuse to give up pizza. It’s your right as an American. But, do practice restraint and limit yourself to just a couple of slices. Okay, maybe an extra slice—if you go for veggie toppings.

Good grief, now that we’ve rained all over the feel-good fast-food parade, isn’t there any ray of sunshine that can be shared as a parting gift? These heart-healthy eating warnings are brought to you by the letter “M.” It stands for moderation.

There’s no reason why you should forever keep the kiss of a crispy piece of chicken from your lips. Eat it often, though, and both your heart—and your hips—with pay a price.

One Beat CPR + AED provides AHA CPR certifications for groups and individuals. Our programs cover advanced, basic, and infant CPR courses. For more information, or to sign up for classes, contact us today!

Why Do Some Businesses Hesitate to Install AEDs?

Why Do Some Businesses Hesitate to Install AEDs? on onebeatcpr.com

Bottom line: Automatic External Defibrillators save lives. Here’s what every Florida business owner needs to know

In October of 2017, Pick ‘N Save employees resuscitated a dying customer thanks to an in-store AED. A few years earlier, a 19 year-old Canadian man used an AED to save a little league baseball game attendee. Two teachers saved a student’s life at middle school in Texas thanks to an onsite AED in 2011. The Internet is flooded with stories of how automated external defibrillators (AEDs) made the difference between life and death.

According to OSHA, of the 6,628 workplace fatalities reported to their organization in 2001 and 2002, as many as 60% of them might have been prevented by onsite AEDs. The American College of Cardiology provides similar numbers: “AEDs in specific study locations like casinos and airports have shown high survival rates for patients with a shockable initial rhythm, ranging from 53% to 61%.”

So, why aren’t more businesses following the OSHA recommendation to install AEDs?

The pros and cons of on-site AEDs

Thanks to television and movies, most people are familiar with AEDs – they’re the “electric paddles” used to shock the heart back into rhythm. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. The “automated” aspect refers to what the device does prior to the shock: an analysis of the heart’s rhythm to determine if defibrillation is needed. Thanks to this automation, unnecessary shocks are virtually nonexistent.

Although complicated on the inside, AEDs can be used without extensive medical training, making their life-saving functionality accessible to anyone trained in their use and many who simply read the directions during an emergency. Despite this user-friendliness, there’s been some debate about their installation in the workplace.

Why some businesses are reluctant to install workplace AEDs

While the lifesaving benefits of AEDs are conclusive, in today’s litigious culture, very few issues are as simple as perhaps they should be. The following are some of the obstacles preventing business owners from making a lifesaving decision.

Safety concerns. There are worries about untrained bystanders to an emergency misusing an AED, such as on a child less than 8 years old, or under 55 pounds in weight.

Legal fears. According to the American Heart Association, companies and organizations are concerned about their liability for getting and using AEDs. All 50 states and the District of Columbia now include using an AED as part of their Good Samaritan laws. The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000 encourages placement of AEDs in federal buildings and ensures federal liability protection for those who acquire or use an AED to help save a life. In addition, this act provides limited immunity to persons using the AED and the purchaser of the AED device. These acts vary by state, but generally, they limit the liability of rescuers using AEDs and others involved in the AED program. Read the Good Samaritan Act for your state for more specific information and be sure to have your legal counsel and, if appropriate, your risk management or safety team review your program.

Why businesses should welcome AEDs

The legal concerns involving AEDs in the workplace are understandable – but only on the surface. Here’s why:

Training is inexpensive and quick. Concerns about AED safety shouldn’t outweigh the potential for saving lives. Many American Heart Association certified training facilities offer corporate training courses in both CPR and AEDs, thereby significantly decreasing the likelihood of misuse.

Liabilities are overstated. A vast majority of lawsuits involving AEDs are file for their absence rather than misuse. The overarching principle is that many cardiac arrest victims are already technically deceased or likely to die, therefore, AEDs aren’t known to cause further harm. In support of this view, the federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, along with Good Samaritan laws, provide limited immunity to those who attempt to use an AED to save a life.

South Florida AED programs

Once a business owner decides to install AEDs, it’s important to identify the proper unit for their location and a qualified training facility. One Beat CPR + AED has been providing AED and CPR training that’s as affordable as it is enjoyable for over 12 years. We offer individual as well as group courses, both at the workplace or in one of our state-of-the-art Florida training centers.

For more information on purchasing the right AED for your business, we encourage you to connect with us online, or call us at 954-321-5305.

What is Corporate CPR Training? Should You Do It?

What is Corporate CPR Training? Should You Do It? on onebeatcpr.com

Corporate CPR training removes the logistics issues that often cause the biggest reason for non-attendance. You’ll raise the level of participation when you make it convenient.

This is a tragic statistic: Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death if you are 40 or older. Here’s something even more tragic. Most of the people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they don’t get the right type of medical attention within minutes.

These people die because no one around them knows what to do—and something as simple as CPR and/or the use of an AED may have saved their life. OSHA reports that nearly 10,000 cardiac arrests occur in the workplace each year, and they tend to happen between 6am and noon. You probably just got a pretty good idea of the importance of corporate CPR training from what you just read.

The frustrating thing about CPR training

Learning how to administer CPR and use an AED are fairly easy. There’s no reason why every adult shouldn’t know how to do it. Think of how many of those 10,000 people could be saved each year if their coworkers had lifesaving training.

In a perfect corporate world, everyone would be CPR and AED certified. We don’t live in a perfect corporate world, but we can come close—corporate training programs can bridge this education gap.

The simple solution

“No time for that.” It’s what you’d likely hear from some employees if you told them that they had to be at a certain place at a certain time to learn how to administer CPR. It’s not that they don’t care about others, it’s just that all of us are already stretched for time.

Corporate CPR training flips that obstacle upside-down. Nobody has to go anywhere. The training is done at your place of business.

Yes, it’s mandatory

Suddenly, it’s much easier to make CPR certification a requirement. Corporate CPR training removes the logistics issues that often cause the biggest reason for non-attendance. You’ll raise the level of participation when you make it convenient.

It’s also going to be more comfortable for your people. The training happens in your offices—on your home turf—with the participants being just your staff. A side effect of the program is the team building that this shared purpose facilitates.

Adding another acronym to CPR

You’ve likely seen a growing number of automated external defibrillators—AEDs—in workplaces you’ve visited. When combined with the administration of CPR, these amazing devices have been shown to exponentially increase sudden cardiac arrest survival rates.

Investing in AEDs for your business is a smart idea, but it gets dumbed down if no one working there knows how to employ it or is comfortable using the device. This is another reason why corporate training is a great idea. The AED is right there on the wall, and your staff can learn how to use it at the same time they’re being certified to administer CPR.

Corporate training will show your employees that using an AED is actually very simple. Compared to administering CPR, it’s also far less physically draining.

We’re far from having perfect corporate worlds where everyone knows how to use an AED and has a CPR certification. This is one goal we should strive to attain, though. It takes more time and effort to learn how to type quickly than it does to learn CPR. The former means you can take dictation or reply to a coworker’s email. The latter would allow you to save their life.

One Beat CPR + AED has been providing AED and CPR training that’s as affordable as it is enjoyable for over 17 years. We offer individual as well as group courses, both at the workplace or in one of our state-of-the-art Florida training centers.

For more information, we encourage you to connect with us online or call us at 954-321-5305.