Employee health checks can be a great addition to your workplace health and wellbeing programme.
Health checks are short confidential consultations with a trained professional which can help to identify conditions such as high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes which are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Some providers will offer a ‘mobile’ service and will come to your workplace to carry out health checks.
Employee health checks can vary, but they tend to involve a combination of tests and questionnaire responses to review someone’s health and wellbeing and possible future health risks. They often include an assessment of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as BMI (Body Mass Index), cholesterol and blood pressure as well as a discussion about your employee’s lifestyle and relevant medical history.
Staff will also be given resources about certain conditions and provided with information on any changes they can make to reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Doreen always thought she was in good health – she exercised moderately, and thought she had a fairly well-balanced diet. So was surprised when she was told that her blood sugar levels were very high. A visit to her GP confirmed that she had Type 2 diabetes.
The value of health checks
Providing employees with the opportunity to have a free health check at work shows your commitment to their wellbeing and can be incredibly popular with staff. Health checks also provide an opportunity to identify early signs of some diseases, which could result in prolonged absence from work if left undetected.
It’s also a great way of providing staff with a chance to reflect on their overall health and some people will be much more likely to sign up for a health check at work than to proactively participate in health check schemes at their GP surgery. For these groups a workplace check can be invaluable.
Health check providers
Although the British Heart Foundation doesn’t deliver health checks to workplaces there are plenty of providers who do and you can search online to find what’s available in your area. You can also encourage staff to start thinking about their cardiovascular health by taking our online Heart Age test.
If you already have an Occupational Health provider for your business they may be able to deliver health and wellbeing assessments in your workplace.
Free NHS Health Checks
If you have a limited budget you may want to promote existing services to your staff. The NHS Health Check is a free health MOT for adults in England aged 40-74 without a pre-existing medical condition. NHS Health Checks are delivered locally, and how you access them can vary among different areas.
Checks are often delivered in GP surgeries or a local pharmacy but can also be delivered in other accessible venues so make sure that you check the services in your area or contact your Local Authority to see whether a team can visit local workplaces.
- If you’re based in Scotland, take a look at what's available in your area through the Keep Well programme.
- If you’re based in Wales, the Add to your life programme offers a free health and wellbeing assessment.
- If you’re based in Northern Ireland, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust offers free health checks for people living in rural communities.
Health kiosks providers
Wellness kiosks are machines staff can use to check their BMI and blood pressure, and answer questions about family history and lifestyle. Your results will give you an indication of how healthy you are for your age. There’s a wide range of commercial offers so make sure you research different options to find the most suitable one for your workplace. It’s also important to note that kiosks are not diagnostic tools, but are a good way to raise awareness of important health and wellbeing messages amongst staff.
Several commercial companies provide wellness kiosks in the workplace, so search online for a trusted provider in your area.