Make America Stress Free Again
I think it goes without saying, this is the most controversial election. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are easily two of the most hated presidential candidates of all time. Election Day is creeping up quickly and America will soon know its fate, for the next 4-8 years at least.
Needless to say, people have been very opinionated regarding the candidate they don’t support. Things can get a little (or a lot) heated. These heated “discussions” have led Southampton Hospital’s cardiopulmonary rehabilitation gym to ban any political talk due to the stress it can cause.
The rehabilitation center cares for people who have had heart surgeries or are diagnosed with heart disease. They put on group exercise classes under the supervision of nurses, physiologists, and therapists. Like an average gym, there are TVs turned on to help pass the time of exercise. With channels like Fox News and CNN, it is not uncommon for political conversation to happen. Jessica R. Swiatocha, the manager of cardiopulmonary rehab and wellness services, says, “We were getting a lot of complaints from patients who didn’t want to listen to the debates.” She decided to intervene.
Opinions Make America Great
She posted a notice that reads, “Due to the fact that we have patients with heart conditions we cannot allow political debates in the gym.” It is normal for people to have opposing views, and to voice those views. That is what makes America great. The issue here is that people who aren’t involved in the discussions are being forced to listen to them. Swiatocha recalls a time when one patient was trapped on a treadmill between a Clinton supporter and a Trump supporter, while the two went back and forth in a heated conversation.
Swiatocha goes on to talk about the negative effects stress can have on a person, especially if that person has heart problems. Stress raises blood pressure, heart rates, cortisol levels, anxiety and depression. She also says, “Stress can exacerbate chronic disease,” such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The American Psychological Associate has recommended that those affected by the stress of the debate should “Avoid getting into discussions about the election if you think they have the potential to escalate to conflict.”