Preventative action to protect health is an idea that seems logical, and yet it can feel difficult to justify the necessary time and expense involved in heading off health issues before they become a problem. But the arguments in favour of health screening are powerful – and the idea is catching on as an employee benefit. The value in spotting potentially serious illnesses before any symptoms appear, highlighting areas in which a person can actively improve their own health or simply offering an opportunity to take time out to think about health and wellbeing appear clear.
According to Screenetics, a leading provider in health screening as an employee benefit, screening has been proven to improve productivity, reduce time off work through illness and the costs involved, reduce the risk of stress related illness at work, and reduce injuries and compensation claims. Providing an opportunity to attend a health screening is also an excellent way to demonstrate that, as an employer, you take your staff’s health seriously.
At IHC, our team are offered the opportunity to undertake a health screening. For Chris Trevorah, the hour-long screening appointment seemed a lot of time to fill, but in fact the number of tests and discussions that took place easily filled the time. These included a pin-prick blood test, a urine analysis, a body mass index check, and a bone density scan. “It was good to have a bone density scan – something I hadn’t anticipated in an onsite test – from a portable x-ray machine,” says Chris.
The whole screen was done at the office, so no need to make travel arrangements or take extra time out, and all the results were given on the day. “The screen has reinforced my belief that I am healthy enough, but need to make some small lifestyle changes to get to my ‘ideal,’” says Chris. “The screener gave me some ideas for exercises as I’m not necessarily an ‘active’ or ‘sporty’ person. That and ‘drink more water’. It was nice to have a discussion about the full results at the end.”
Laura Louis had never had a health screen before, and was pleased to get the chance to take time out to consider her health. “I liked the amount of tests that they carried out as it gave a good overall feel of what is going on with your body,” she says. And Nazmi Khanom was surprised that the health tests were so comprehensive. “I didn’t realise there would be so many things to test for, but it helped understand my health and wellbeing. And it’s surprising how the majority of the tests that you could go to your GP for can be done in your office,” she says. “It was interesting to know what I need to work on more, for example drinking more water.”
For Chris, the screen offered time out of a busy work schedule that was dedicated to his health and wellbeing. “I felt this was personally valuable, and having the individual time with the tester gave me the opportunity to discuss things about my results that I would normally discuss with my GP, but never seem to find the time to make an appointment. I would certainly recommend it for my clients.”