Celebrate World Health Day!
Founding and 2013 Theme
When the United Nations was established in 1945, founders felt it necessary to create an internal organization that would continue the important health services offered during both World Wars. On April 7, 1948, the World Health Organization began that mission. During the First World Health Assembly that same year, many felt a day commemorating the founding of the organization and bringing greater awareness of health concerns to the world would be appropriate. On April 7, 1950, World Health Day was born. Known as a day of global observance rather than a public holiday, this year’s theme is hypertension.
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
In keeping with 2013’s theme, here is some information about hypertension and ways you can control your blood pressure:
- Nearly 1 billion people have hypertension worldwide; two-thirds of whom live in developing nations.
- Men run a higher risk than women of developing hypertension; a family history of high blood pressure can further increase the likelihood.
- Age plays a role, with those in their 50s having five times the risk compared to those in their 20s and 30s.
- Known as the “silent killer” due to the lack of warning signs and symptoms, high blood pressure is the leading, but preventable, cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide.
- Hypertension is known to complicate other types of diseases such as diabetes.
- Other risk factors for hypertension include: obesity, kidney disease, and consuming large quantities of alcohol.
Ways to Control It:
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!
- Eat healthy and avoid sodium
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Say “no” to tobacco products
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Find ways to relax and avoid stress
- Get regular blood pressure check-ups with your doctor
Here’s To Your Health—Activities You Can Enjoy!
Here is a list of activities to consider on World Health Day in helping to promote a healthy lifestyle:
- Attend a local health conference or fair.
- Start a health workshop in your area.
- Set up a variety of contests surrounding health for kids with prizes for all participants.
- Create healthy games and exercise activities
- Make fliers and pamphlets with fun trivia and health information to hand out in your neighborhood.
- Coordinate blood pressure screenings with health professionals in your area.
- Help promote a healthy diet by organizing a buffet of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious delicacies, and distribute easy and delicious recipes that reflect healthy eating habits.
- If your city has a website, ask if you can advertise any local World Health Day events.
In keeping with the spirit of good health, remember to pass long these helpful tips and encourage others to do the same. Your heart will thank you, and so will others!