We take a look at how to improve your ‘lung health’
One person every 5 minutes will die from lung disease in the UK. 20% of the UK population will develop or already has asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or another long-term respiratory illness.
Whilst the obvious response for promoting healthier lungs would be ‘don’t smoke’, there are other factors to also take into account when looking at keeping our lungs in top shape.
Avoid exposure to pollutants
Poor air quality, household cleaning items, passive smoke, and workplace chemicals and other debris can all cause lung damage.
Some respiratory infections develop from poor hygiene habits, such as not washing hands properly, poor oral hygiene or being around sick family members or work colleagues who may spread infection through coughing. Flu vaccinations in the autumn and winter months are a good option to protect against the damaging respiratory effects of flu.
Regular health checks
Regular check ups can help identify potential issues at an early stage, which is particularly true for lung disease as it can go undetected until it becomes a more serious issue.
Aerobic exercise as well as breathing exercises can be beneficial in improving your lung capacity and lung function. Someone who exercises has a greater ability to extract oxygen from the lungs and working muscles than a sedentary person and this makes normal daily activities less tiring.
Senior Wellbeing Consultant, Oli Barnard from Wellbeing company Healthy Performance commented “Lung function is just one of the tests we do in our onsite employee health checks. Lung function measurements give us an understanding of an individual’s ability compared to normative data for their age, gender, height and weight and also ethnicity.
“When we see individuals who regularly exercise, they often have readings that far exceed the norm data. This is because they are training their diaphragm and intercostal (rib) muscles as they take large rhythmic breaths during activity. One problem we regularly face during the tests is people giggling! For some reason it always generates a chuckle.”
advo works with Health Performance on a range of client wellbeing programmes.