Lung disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Many people are not aware that they have lung problems until it’s too late, and some don’t even know what healthy lungs sound like.
Healthy Lung Month takes place in October and aims to raise awareness about lung health and encourage people to take good care of their lungs. It also offers an opportunity to provide more information about how to maintain and improve your lung health.
Many employees spend most of their workdays exposed to pollutants that can affect their lungs and their general health. You can promote healthy lungs by offering a range of ways for your employees to stay healthy.
If You Don’t Smoke, Don’t Start
Smoking can lead to a lot of devastating diseases like strokes, diabetes and tuberculosis. Each year, about 41,000 nonsmokers and 400 babies die from secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the risk of having a heart attack drops significantly a year after you quit smoking. You can reduce your employees’ risk of a stroke by encouraging them to remain smoke-free for two to five years.
Keep the Environment Pollution-Free
Indoor or outdoor air pollution can be harmful to your lungs. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in houses and workplaces. There is also the possibility of legacy asbestos being present in buildings. Companies should know the exposure limits and ensure that employees and test as needed to ensure a safe working environment
Make Regular Exercise a Priority
Your company can encourage employees to exercise regularly. Exercise increases the lungs’ ability to supply oxygen, which will in turn lower the risk of suffering a major illness and make it easier for those who are already at-risk from lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema. A physician must be consulted before starting any exercise regimen.
Take Steps to Prevent Infection
Staying healthy overall is a factor in maintaining the health of the lungs, which makes it even more vital to avoid getting sick. A cold or respiratory infection could become serious, so you want to do as much as you can to protect yourself. Regular hand washing, avoiding people who have cold or flu symptoms, staying home when sick and making sure surfaces are kept clean can help avoid spreading illnesses at work. We strongly encourage employers to ensure access for employees to both flu and COVID-19 vaccines to their employees.
Seeing a Doctor is Important for Employees
If you notice that one of your employees is suffering from shortness of breath, let them know they should see their doctor. The doctor can check if there are any medical issues that need to be addressed. When you have a workplace plan in place for better lung maintenance, your employees can relax in October and beyond.