Voice broadcasting opens up marketing possibilities that would be impossible if individual callers and calls were being employed. In effect, therefore, it helps to minimize the use of voices, protecting and saving them. This might sound like strange logic, but today is 16 April and World Voice Day is asking us to take a look at how we care for our own voices in private and in the workplace. There is valuable advice for every one of us.

Stop just for a second to look back over your day so far and try to imagine how you would have fared without a functioning voice. Imagine running up those stairs each time instead of calling up them to check whether your children are awake. How would you have communicated with people at the office, by phone or conference call if your voice was there not at the ready? Vocal problems are caused by many factors, but as many as seven and a half million Americans are said to have problems using their voices. Looking after it is just as important as getting enough sleep.

While it might be a benign-sounding job, working in a call centre can present serious risks. Just as lifting badly can injure someone’s back, speaking incorrectly for prolonged periods can injure a worker’s voice. A study released on World Voice Day by the University of Ulster was specifically asked to look at call centre workers. It found that one in four were experiencing problems with their voices and that a tenth said they had been diagnosed with a voice disorder. This might of course be applied to many other jobs, like teaching or busy retail posts.

Keeping your voice healthy is similar to many other health tips, don’t smoke and drink plenty of water, but also it’s important to keep the level down, as screaming and shouting puts pressure on vocal chords. Breathing correctly is key if your voice is put under pressure. Warming up before a lecture or presentation is also a good idea. Knowing your voice is also important. If it seems to change inexplicably, it may be worth having it checked out. When necessary, a sip of water clears your throat as effectively and more gently than the other method, which amounts to giving your vocal chords a good slap.

World Voice Day began ten years ago in Brazil, where doctors wanted to raise awareness, given the state’s especially high rate of laryngeal cancer. The US later joined suit and by last year countries all over the world from Malta to Kenya to Macau reported events. Don’t shout about it, but do take note.