Article: Redefining health checks for a fitter tomorrow

Employee Engagement

Redefining health checks for a fitter tomorrow

With highly advanced preventive and predictive tests available, it is time to opt for a comprehensive health check-up
Redefining health checks for a fitter tomorrow
 

An Assocham study said nearly 85 per cent of employees are afflicted with lifestyle, chronic diseases and acute ailments, while for government employees it ranges below 8 per cent

 

The Harvard School of Public Health has, in a study on economic losses due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), estimated that the economic burden of lifestyle diseases for India will be close to $ 6.2 trillion for the period 2012-30, a figure that is equivalent to nearly nine times the total health expenditure during the previous 19 years of $710 billion.

The survey says 85 per cent of private sector workers have lifestyle diseases, while only 8 per cent government office-goers do. A national survey by ASSOCHAM says, “Due to demanding schedules, high stress levels and performance-linked perquisites in the private sector, nearly 85 per cent of employees are afflicted with lifestyle, chronic diseases and acute ailments, while government employees range below 8 per cent.”

In view of the alarming rise in lifestyle diseases, hospitals and diagnostic labs alike are promoting wellness as an essential choice of an individual to lead a healthy life.

Special highly discounted complete wellness packages have been available for some time now to screen one’s vital organs. However, it’s time to take a step forward in wellness, by introducing tests meant to address one’s lifestyle, keeping in mind a target of best state of health for improved productivity at office or at home. It is important for the user of the health checks to understand the effectiveness of the screening that a health check can offer is totally dependent on the tests scheduled therein.

Further, with recent advances in tests for cancer screens, allergy screens, food intolerance testing as well as excellent predictive tests for cardiology, the concept of niche health checks is now available for the discerning customer. These would aim at not only screening the individual for basic conditions but also provide due guidance for lifestyle changes and holistic health.

A health check can be as easy as giving 10 minutes of your employees’ time and one draw of blood, with the samples being collected from one’s home/office and the reports being delivered to via courier or email, at the person’s convenience.

Predictive tests for heart diseases: The most effective way to control the rising incidence of heart diseases is through personalised care taking into consideration the genetics as well as lifestyle factors to provide a holistic approach to reduce heart diseases. These help:

  1. Motivate individuals to make the necessary life-style changes taking into account their genetic status.
  2. Clinicians can also create personalised treatment plans for each patient based on these.

Limitation with the normal check-ups is that they focus only on popular tests and often do not include the newer and advanced screening tests. Some amongst these are food intolerance test, which actually needs to be done only once or twice in a lifetime, cancer screening, Phadiatop, which is employed for screening of allergic sensitisation in patients with suspected allergic diseases, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, HsCRP, homocysteine and autoimmune screen.

Research shows that the possibility of an Indian suffering from a lifestyle disease is 4 per cent greater than people from other nationalities. The fast pace of life, stress and paucity of time leaves little space for health and well being. Therefore, before our body starts showing signs of fatigue and inability. It is essential for us to look at our daily routine and think how the same impacts our personal lives. Since factors like heredity, sex and age cannot be avoided, one must manage one’s lifestyle to avoid being at risk of different lifestyle dominated diseases.

Regular comprehensive health-checks performed at centers with accredited diagnostics coupled with lifestyle changes can go a long way in prevention, early detection and cure of diseases.

Topics: Employee Engagement, Life @ Work

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