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Let's have a change of heart and address our health issues

The eagle-eyed reader may have spotted a small STOP PRESS notice in the magazine the other week flagging up my involvement in the Windsor Half Marathon last weekend.

Well I’m really not a runner. And it has to be said, this week I’ve barely been a walker.

A multitude of events conspired to interrupt my training schedule over the last few months – holidays, work, evenings in bars, rain, man-flu, forgotten PE kit. Yet I am proud to say that I completed the course on Sunday well before the rain came. I didn’t know when I signed up for this particular event was that Windsor Great Park is remarkably hilly. I had this notion that it would be flat. I was sadly quite wrong.

The other thing I wasn’t aware of is that this particular event has its roots in the construction industry. While today it sees runners from all walks of life raising cash for a myriad of charities, the event remains well supported by the construction industry with homeless charity CRASH a lead beneficiary.

I have to say that it gave me a warm glow to attend such a huge public gathering and to see the likes of Aecom, Balfour Beatty, Osborne, Imtech and Aggregate Industries sitting alongside the likes of Nike, Lucozade and Mars as supporters. Despite the economic downturn, it was good to see that firms are still keen to maintain their commitment to charity and community support.

But what was also very impressive was the number of construction industry people running alongside me sporting team shirts supporting their chosen charities. My apologies for not chatting to you all along the way!

As I said, I’m not really a runner. To be honest when it comes to exercise I’m more inclined towards tennis, sailing, golf, cycling and a bit of light five-a-side football.

And it has to be said that a few people in the office have questioned whether running really is “a sensible thing to be doing at your age”.

Nevertheless, I remain convinced that, provided it’s done sensibly, at my age, and given my computer-facing working environment, I’d be mad not to exercise.

As you will read in the magazine this week, NCE has this week launched a campaign alongside Polypipe Civils, the British Heart Foundation and Constructing BetterHealth to test the heart health of the industry and raise awareness of the risks that our industry’s lifestyle presents. While the industry has been very successful at promoting the site safety message over the last few decades it has largely neglected occupational health message over the same period.

And while there are still too many construction-related fatalities and injuries each year, the number of lives lost, careers cut short and working days lost through ill health is considerably higher. Heart disease is one of the biggest risks in construction.

It is a situation that has to be addressed. Hopefully by giving the problem publicity we can start to turn the tide. Over to you.

  • Antony Oliver is NCE’s editor

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hi,
    Congratulations on doing the run.

    You may have read recently in NCE a letter & associated picture taken from the steps of One Great George Street of the Mayor of London's SkyRide.
    I proudly rode a total of 20 miles that day. Two weeks later I had been told that I am going to have a Heart By Pass Operation. I am still in the Victor Meldrew mould 'I don't believe it!'
    Check the heart!!
    Allan Carter (MICE)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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