Libraries Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Library Resources | February 14, 2018

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February is designated as "American Heart Month," and libraries across the United States are helping to spread awareness and education about heart disease and offering tips to help people stay “heart healthy.”

Did you know that cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately one of every three deaths in the United States? That statistic alone is staggering. To raise awareness and further education on heart health, February is designated as “American Heart Month.” For almost 45 years, the American Heart Association has sponsored this federally designated initiative with activities such as National Wear Red Day, a day focused on heart disease in women, and campaigns to increase awareness via social media, online articles and quizzes, and tips for educators and medical professionals. One (unlikely) place to find year-round relaxation and heart healthy activities is the library!

Meditation Rooms Address Stress in Colleges & Universities

Academic libraries are experimenting with “meditation rooms,” according to American Libraries Magazine. Students and faculty use the rooms for various purposes, such as religious needs, yoga, and meditation. The Tulsa Community College’s West Campus library proposed the idea in the summer of 2016 and has had positive feedback since creating their room. College is a stressful time, especially for new students who must adapt to a new lifestyle. Related, the American Heart Association asserts that stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Setting aside quiet rooms in college and university libraries allows for its users to “take time out” from studying and the daily stressors of college life, thus contributing to healthier hearts.

One (unlikely) place to find year-round relaxation and heart healthy activities is the library!

Public Libraries Lend Tools for a Cardio Workout

There are many ways to get a cardio workout including hiking, which greatly reduces the risk of heart disease. Public libraries, such as Denver Public Library and Mechanicsville (VA) Public Library, are reaping the benefits of federal grants that their state library systems have won and have chosen to create hiking kits with. “The intent, officials in several libraries agree, is to give families a new reason to get off the couch and into the world.” The kits are in the form of backpacks that are filled with items such as guides, binoculars, maps and other supplies. Check out and hold statistics for backpacks in Denver Public Library show that they’re a big hit.

Engaging Digital Magazines & Coloring Books for Heart Healthy Activities

Flipster® offers many digital magazines and adult coloring books that complement these activities. Yoga Journal is a popular magazine that caters to all levels of yoga practitioners. In addition to providing poses, other health related information, such as nutrition, is included. Hikers can enjoy digital magazines such as Backpacker. This publication features information on wilderness hiking and adventure. You can combine both yoga, hiking and adult coloring, another stress relieving activity, while coloring Yoga Kitties: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book and Take a Hike: An Outdoor Coloring Adventure, both published by Blue Star Press. Flipster offers a selection of over 150 adult coloring books on a wide variety of topics, including mindfulness and stress relief. 

Watch our video that highlights the benefits of adult coloring books and consider requesting a free trial of Flipster.

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