The health check
Apparently there have been some alarming results from the workplace health checks underway at the moment.
Victorian workers have been given a scare by a State Government-run health program which has found a high percentage don’t exercise enough with a number of people asked to see a doctor within 24 hours.
We’ve had ours on Friday (everybody opted-in, I think), and we seem to be a pretty healthy workplace.
At least, nobody’s been carted off in an ambulance.
My own results were all okay, with one exception.
Some of the points are self-assessment; others like cholesterol were checked by the nurse on the spot. I’ve summarised the take-home brochure, and my results below.
2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables (per day) should be your target
I’m on 3 serves of fruit, and 2 of vegetables, so need to increase my vegetable intake. It was noted that a variety is good. I probably eat more spinach leaves than most, as I know the kids will chow them down.
In all honesty, I’m not sure how achievable 5 serves of vegies per day is for me, but I can try.
I barely drink (perhaps a one standard drink per month if I’m lucky), and the nurse decided this was closer to no alcohol of the three options on the questionnaire.
I’ve never drunk a lot; it’s reduced even more since the cluster headaches arrived on the scene, as alcohol can help induce them (though just at the moment they’re not around).
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all days
I might not play sport, but I do a fair bit of walking. It’s generally three 30 minute walks a week with the kids, and one or two 60+ minute walks with Marita and her dog on the weekends. Add to that the shorter walks to/from the train each weekday (12 minutes x 2 x 5, though no doubt that doesn’t have the same benefits of the longer walks), that’s 270-330 minutes of walking per week, or at least 38 minutes a day.
So I think that’s fine.
There is no safe level of smoking
No problemo. Never smoked, sure as hell not about to start.
Normal — Men: 94 cm or less. Women: 80 cm or less
I’m 86 cm, have been since I was a skinny yoof. Do have a little bit of a pot belly, but nothing major.
Normal — Less than 120/80
The brochure explains that the first value is systolic — the pressure in the arteries as your heart squeezes blood out during each beat. The other is diastolic — the pressure as your heart relaxes before the next beat.
Mine’s a little high: 113/83. On this basis there’s a recommendation to review it when I next see my doctor, but the nurse emphasised that there’s no real problem.
This seems higher than usual for me. Normally when I give blood it’s lower — it was 117/76 the last time I noted it in my blog. In fact this time round the nurse thought it might be unusual and did an average out of four readings.
Normal — Total cholesterol 5.5 or less, HDL cholesterol 1.0 or more
Mine is 4.8 total, and 1.8 HDL, so that’s good.
Diabetes risk score — low risk: 5 or less. Medium risk 6-14. High risk 15 or more
Random blood glucose levels — normal: less than 6.5. High 6.5 or more
My diabetes risk score is 2 points for my age, 3 points for my sex (that would be male), and 3 points because someone in my family has it — my Dad has type 2. So 8 points makes me a medium risk for diabetes, and worth reviewing with my doctor at some stage.
My blood glucose level was 5.4, in the normal range.
I’ll enquire about blood pressure and diabetes risk, the former isn’t a big problem at present, and the latter I can’t really do much about other than keep up the exercise and improve the diet.
I suppose there’s no big surprises for me in all this, but in terms of preventative health measures, I can see how this kind of far-reaching basic health check might help others to think about their lifestyle choices and modify them if possible.
And of course it’s only a fairly superficial check. I’ve still got headaches, Bowen Belly (much less so recently) and other minor ailments which hit me from time to time.
Anybody else do the check? Any surprises?