If you’re tasked with starting up a corporate wellness program that matches the individual fitness goals of your employees, you may want to consider collecting useful health data about them to use as a guiding comparison. Not all wellness programs are alike, and neither are our fitness goals: there are those of us who like a strictly structured plan with clearly defined fitness goals, while others are more relaxed and approach their wellness as a lifestyle change. Sometimes, then, wellness and fitness progress aren’t as easily seen in the reflection of our mirrors, in the waistline of our jeans, or in the numbers on our weight-scale.
These data points can be little more than arbitrary opinions and numbers loosely associated with our current health and fitness. As an example, a standard weight-scale simply measures total weight but will it show you that your weight loss is due to muscle loss, fat loss, water loss, or a combination of these factors? What if your scale tells you that you are losing weight but it is an unhealthy loss because you’ve lost lean muscle tissue and not fat? If you can’t trust the mirror, jeans, or weight-scale for keeping track of a healthy wellness program, are there better health data points out there? Yes there is, and the best collection of health data is a body study called biometric screening.
What is a biometric screening? What does it consist of, and how is it used? A biometric screening is a simple procedure that measures a person’s basic body statistics: blood pressure, BMI, body fat percentage, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. These are administered by a health professional—typically your own primary care physician—using health industry standards. A blood test is as invasive as it gets, although a specialized weight-scale does send an painless electric current through your body to measure the muscle, fat, and water content that make up your body weight. These metrics indicate whether a person is within normal healthy levels while progressing through a wellness program. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the more important measurements that comprise the biometric screening with regards to sussing out pertinent data from the whole.
Knowing your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a solid starting point measurement for keeping a wellness program on a healthy course. BMI determines body fat by measuring the ratio of height to body weight. It is a simple assessment, though the elevated muscles of athletes may be mistaken for body fat. It is important to emphasize that being underweight or overweight can become potentially dangerous if sustained for a lengthy amount of time. And it may be a tipping point for succumbing to either extreme side of anorexia or obesity. Balancing your BMI leads to better health goal outcomes: if anyone is unsure what weight is right for them, they can rely on their BMI numbers to act as their guide. You can also factor in other variables such as diet and exercise regimens to see what wellness initiatives are benefiting your employees in your corporate wellness program. As far as genetics playing a role in BMI, Fit Pros can offer your employees the option to explore the science-backed and clinically-tested genotyping service called Vitagene. Vitagene just needs your cheek swab to uncover your ancestral wellness history--including a thorough and detailed analysis of your DNA and a personalized wellness plan.
Another extremely important biometric test that is routinely measured in the hospital is blood pressure. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both women and men--and maintaining blood pressure can prevent incidences of hypertension, stroke, or heart attacks. With any wellness program, HR should emphasize crucial biometric numbers like the optimal blood pressure goal of less than 120/80 mm HG. Fit Pros provides this biometric service in conjunction with our data platform to engage employees, prevent turnover, and successfully prove ROI. Using biometric screening in the workplace is a convenient and cost-effective incentive for employees to reap the benefits of their efforts and their biometric numbers.
Along with blood pressure, cholesterol level is another measurement taken by biometric screening that won’t show up on your participating employee’s weight-scale dial or mirror. Your coworker may look fit as a fiddle from the outside but outward appearances can belie troubling health risks on the inside. Onsite wellness programs should emphasize holistic health outcomes that target the whole body, especially the parts that can’t be seen in a mirror. One hidden health danger is high cholesterol. A simple blood test as part of your corporate wellness program’s biometric screening can be used to monitor and track whether the program is motivating at-risk employees to lower their cholesterol.
Routine biometric screenings within an onsite corporate wellness program combines the best of both worlds—work and wellness—-for employees and potential hirers who value work-life balance.