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Hearts and minds

Initial results from the NCE Heart Health survey show that there is a fairly high level of concern about the potential for heart disease in the construction sector.

So far, 26% of the people who have filled out the survey questionnaire consider that they may be at risk of a heart-related illness, and 17% have at some stage in their lives been diagnosed with a heart-related health problem.

Most, however, consider that they have a fairly healthy lifestyle, with 69% exercising three times a week or more, and only 2% believing they have a poor diet. Also, 91% of respondents say they never smoke, and most claim to stick within acceptable alcohol consumption limits.

No blood pressure checks

However, more than 35% of people surveyed so far have had no blood pressure check within the last year. High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and health experts recommend regular checks to ensure levels are within acceptable limits. If it is high, it can easily be controlled by lifestyle factors, such as reducing stress and improving diet.

NCE is undertaking the heart health survey to collect data on lifestyle factors within the construction industry that affect cardiovascular disease and perceptions of health. We need as many respondents as possible so we can put together a clear picture of the way the industry views heart health.

The survey is confidential, and you can take part at It is part of a campaign to raise awareness of heart health issues, run in conjunction with Constructing Better Health and Polypipe Civils. To ensure that the campaign’s reach is as wide as possible, Polypipe is set to take the message on the road with a series of roadshows at branches of Burdens, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of civil engineering and building materials.

“91% of respondents say they never smoke and most claim to stick within acceptable alcohol consumption limits”

“We are trying to raise awareness of the high number of people who suffer from heart disease in the construction industry, and hopefully go some way to preventing people from suffering from the condition,” said Polypipe Civils head of marketing Rachel Smith.

Spreading the message

The Polypipe Run tour will start in February, spreading the heart health message by offering a healthy breakfast and the opportunity for a blood pressure test to as many customers as possible. Full details of the locations for the tour will be available in the New Year.

In the meantime, readers can help to raise cash for the British Heart Foundation to fund further research by purchasing raffle tickets at £2 a go. At the end of the campaign one ticket will win a Mini Cooper, and there is also a prize draw each month to win a weekend break at one of 56 spa hotels across the UK. Last month’s lucky spa break winner was David Nottingham, who is a principal engineer at WYG in Leicester.

  • To enter the raffle, go to or follow the link at the end of the NCE Heart Health survey.

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