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CWU Mersey Branch USR Reports On Health Activator Training

Shaun Lee, USR from Mersey Branch and North West BT Unions Health & Safety Co-ord member, recently attended a training day sponsored by the TUC and run by the NHS and a training organisation called PSS People.

Here he deetails the event sof that training session, which is an example of the on-going training and education that union safety reps undergo:

During June I attended a course on digital health at the Trade Union Education Unit,in Liverpool. The course was run by in conjunction with NHS.

It was all based around self-care – the act of recognising, treating and managing your own health, whether this be independently or in partnership with healthcare professional or support groups and charities.

The course was looked at the use of technology (we were asked to bring iPad’s Smart Phones etc to the session) and set out that we use technology in many everyday activities but may not be aware of how many digital resources and tools are available to help to maintain good health.

Combining self-care with digital technology and exploring the many ways people can maintain good health, reduce risk of preventable illness and manage existing conditions by accessing digital tools and resources that are widely available yet often overlooked.

I also sent some time leaning about blood pressure and the many factors that could both affect this and the health implications of both high and low pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.

* systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
* diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats

For example, if your blood pressure is "140 over 90" or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.

As a general guide:

* ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
* high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
* low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower

I was also trained up on how to take blood pressure readings and advice to give based upon readings
High blood pressure

High blood pressure is often related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight and not exercising enough.

Left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing a number of serious long-term health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease.

Low blood pressure

Low blood pressure is less common. Some medications can cause low blood pressure as a side effect. It can also be caused by a number of underlying conditions, including heart failure and dehydration.

Downloads available via the unionsafety E-Library: BP Checklist, Using Digital Resources For Self-Care

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