Health assessments are a bit like a car MOT. Whilst your car may seem “healthy” on the outside, you never know what’s really going on under the bonnet until you give it a thorough check.
Health assessments are an in-depth health check of our bodies. And just like an MOT assesses a car’s road worthiness, pinpoints any faults that might affect it in the future or any dangerous issues, a health assessment measures your current health status and identifies risk factors that might cause potential health problems in the future. It can also identify any current undiagnosed health concerns that require further investigation by a medical professional.
What is included in a health assessment?
What’s included in a health assessment varies. Often a health assessment measures:
- Lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity levels, sleep patterns, mental wellbeing, alcohol intake and tobacco use
- Body composition measurements, for example weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference
- Blood pressure and resting heart rate
- Cholesterol and diabetes check
At LiveSmart, we like to take this one step further and analyse up to 150 areas of health to provide a more comprehensive health screening. Our selection of packages also include:
- Blood analysis examining the major organs and blood cells, nutrient deficiencies (e.g. Vitamin D), hormone testing and cancer screening
- Health coaching from our team of Registered Dieticians
We also collect and review non-medical information to form a more complete picture of your business and employee needs such as:
- Life and job satisfaction
- Opinions on what your employees want from you and your health and wellbeing programme
Why is a health assessment useful?
To improve our health, first of all we need to understand it. Health assessments enable employees to become aware of their physical and mental health and their risk factors for ill health.
Now let’s go back to the MOT scenario again for just a moment. Before an MOT, it is always good to prep your car and proactively fix any issues that might cause it to fail its inspection. Similarly, once we know risk factors that can affect our health, we can make proactive changes to our lifestyle habits to reduce our risk of future ill health.
Commonly cars fail their MOT for minor issues that could have been prevented, such as low tyre pressure. Whilst our bodies are a lot more complicated than a car, prevention is the key to great health. Take heart disease, for example. It is the leading cause of premature deaths in the UK yet nearly half of these are preventable by making healthy lifestyle changes. What’s more, many factors that cause heart disease, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, have no overt symptoms. LiveSmart GP’s have identified 47% of customers have one or more risk factors for heart disease and, along with the team of Dieticians, have been able to provide specific recommendations and guidance to help employees reduce their risk.
Why are health assessments becoming more popular? The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of good health. But we cant just go to our GP’s and ask them for an “MOT” to check if we are healthy. That is not really what GP’s are there for, but digital health platforms like LiveSmart are.
What do we do at LiveSmart that is different?
LiveSmart provides you with a personal digital health report at your fingertips allowing you to improve your health from anywhere and at any time.
We collect blood samples, either at your home or workplace, via DIY finger-prick blood tests or our nationwide network of nurses.
Our clinical team of NHS GP’s and Registered Dieticians assess your blood results, alongside a comprehensive health questionnaire, to create a bespoke digital report and health score for you. The health report provides insights into many aspects of your health and provides guidance and practical advice on how to make lifestyle changes to improve your health score and, ultimately, your long-term health. The LiveSmart health score is a unique calculation that gives you a clear indication of the state of your health right now. Using various validated tools and questions, it examines how your lifestyle habits stack up against national and international health recommendations and standards. What’s more, LiveSmart’s health score is also trackable over time allowing you to compare health improvements over repeat assessments. We’ve shown that by shifting towards healthier habits, you can improve your health score by an average of 11% over time.
At LiveSmart we recognise making lifestyle changes can be easier and more successful with expert support from medical professionals. Therefore, we provide you with access to our Dieticians and health coaches via 1:1 video or telephone calls. Our Dieticians and health coaches can support you in identifying your personal health goals and developing an action plan that works towards achieving them. Perhaps, you want to manage your weight, get fitter or reduce your risk of hereditary conditions. Regular monthly touch-ins with your health coach, ensure you receive ongoing encouragement and motivation and the knowledge and skills to make long-term sustainable lifestyle changes that improve their health.
How do health assessments help people and businesses?
There is no denying that a business’s most valuable asset is its people. Their knowledge, skills, expertise, experience and creativity are the engine room of every successful business. Their productivity drives business performance. LiveSmart users are:
- 34% more fulfilled with their life
- 30% more satisfied with their job
- 50% less anxious and stressed
Yet employees can only thrive when they are healthy both physically and mentally. Let’s go back to our car scenario again. If you don’t take care of it and regularly service it, it is unlikely to remain roadworthy for long. Likewise with employees, if you do not support them and regularly check how they are doing, they’re unlikely to remain productive or even stay with the company.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of this than ever before. The past 18 months have not only transformed the workplace but also employees’ mindsets. In 2019-2020, 32.5 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health, with poor mental wellbeing (stress, anxiety, depression) accounting for 18 million of these days.
At LiveSmart, in 2020, we found 2 in 3 employees taking a health assessment experienced work related stress and anxiety. Studies show work-life balance, good health and wellbeing are taking priority over career goals.
A successful HR policy needs to invest in employees using not just tangible benefits like salary but also intangible benefits too in the areas that matter most to them; their health and wellbeing. But there is not a 'one-size-fits-all' health and wellbeing strategy. Every company and it’s employees have unique needs and values and these can change over time as businesses and its people evolve. To fully support employees, businesses need to understand the current health status of their workforce and address any underlying factors that might be affecting their health and performance.
Health assessments from an expert Health and Wellbeing platform are an accessible opportunity to understand employees health. They provide robust and reliable data from which companies can build a strategic health and wellbeing programme that supports employees values, improves their health and measurably contributes to business success.
At a time when physical and mental health matter more than ever, everyone in your business can access our flexible health assessments anytime, anywhere.