September is Heart Awareness Month and it is dedicated to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in South Africa. One in three people are living with high blood pressure and so this year’s focus will be on encouraging people to test their Blood Pressure (BP), as it’s one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. Your hearts health can be taken care of by living a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, being physically active and not smoking.
Our team, which is a total of 17 people, were screened and had our Heart Age calculated. The screening included measurements of our body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
The average heart age of the staff was calculated to be 31 with the oldest age being 54 and the youngest 21, while the average heart age was 33. The average heart age at birth was calculated to be two years old. This highlighted the fact that most of the team are at a slight risk of developing heart problems.
Exercising is needed to keep you heart working well and your body healthy. 59% of the team confessed to not being involved in any regular physical activity but are willing to change this in order to help better their lifestyle and health. All adults should exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week in order to keep their hearts and bodies healthy.
A poor diet includes eating take-away, fatty foods and adding salt to food. These poor eating habits are what contributes to obesity. Some of the BONA team members eat five vegetables and fruits per day and this helps keep their heart healthy. Eating a balanced diet, which is rich in vegetables, fruits, fiber and is low in salt and sugar will help keep your heart age low and healthy.
BONA Team Statistics:
- 10 people’s hearts were younger or the same age as their actual age.
- 7 people’s hearts were older than their actual age.
- Heart age ranged from three years younger to 12 years older than their actual age.
- Average BMI for the group was 24.7 kg/m².
- Systolic blood pressure ranged from 108 to 150 mmHg (above 140 mmHg is considered to be high).
- Average total cholesterol for the group was 4.97 mmol/l.
- Smoking adds between 9 and 13 years to your heart age.