Workforce Health | By | 04/01/18 | 2 Minute Read

How Biometric Health Screenings Benefit Your Employees

If your workplace is among the 90% of companies that offer a corporate wellness program, it’s likely that onsite biometric screenings are included as a benefit. If you need a refresher on what exactly is involved in a biometric screening, and why they are of value to your employees, you’ve come to the right place.

What Exactly is a Biometric Health Screening?

Put simply, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a biometric screening is a general health check that measures physical characteristics, such as height, weight, blood pressure, and more. Companies can use the aggregated data collected to benchmark and evaluate changes in employee health over time.

Typically, a trained medical clinician will check blood pressure, calculate body mass index (BMI), and measure blood cholesterol levels. Those three key measurements can tell your employees a lot about their health.

Blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measurement of the force acting upon the walls of your arteries. The measurement is taken in two numbers: systolic blood pressure / diastolic blood pressure, and it can be divided into five ranges, which will indicate whether someone’s blood pressure is low, normal, or high—also called hypertension, which is when the force of blood is high enough against your artery walls that you may eventually have health problems.

Body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat that’s calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters). For adults 20 years old and older, that number is then categorized into a weight status: underweight (below 18.5), normal or healthy weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25.0 to 29.9), and obese (30.0 and above). When taken into account with additional biometric measurements, BMI can be a good indicator of your employees’ general health.

Blood cholesterol levels. Blood cholesterol is comprised of triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. According to the American Heart Association, keeping them in balance is crucial for preventing cardiovascular disorders, such as heart disease and stroke. Blood cholesterol test results will show total cholesterol, and a breakdown of LDL and HDL levels, which a health professional can take into account when determining risk of heart disease.

Why Should Employees Opt in to a Biometric Health Screening?

If your company offers biometric screenings, chances are, they’re free. So not only will employees have the opportunity to learn more about their health at no cost to them, they won’t have to take time off or wait in a doctor’s office.

Employees’ biometric data can signal whether or not they are at risk for a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, as well as potentially deadly cardiovascular events, like heart attack and stroke. Also, by participating in this kind of assessment, they can learn tips to create healthy habits to better manage their health.

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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