Throughout the year, the company offers free health fairs featuring on-site screening tests. Employees, retirees, spouses and individuals on long-term disability are eligible. Individuals must not eat or drink anything but water for 12 hours before the test.* Prescribed medications can be taken at their usual time with water.
The company's health fairs can include the following screening tests:
- Height, Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) – Calculated from your height and weight, BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat and can help assess risk for chronic disease. While age, sex, body type and race all play a part in fully determining health risks, they are not used to calculate BMI and thus this metric is best used as a guide when considered along with other metrics.
- Waist to Height Ratio – Abdominal fat has been shown to be more stressful on the heart than fat located on other areas of the body, such as the hips, thighs, or arms. This type of fat is able to stimulate hormone production and inflammatory agents within the body. For this reason, Waist to Height Ratio is measured to not only assess weight health, but also cardiovascular health.
- Blood Pressure – Blood pressure measures the force of blood exerted against the walls of the arteries as it is pumped through the body. When the heart beats faster or harder than normal, when there is an increase in blood volume, or when arteries are narrowed, this force increases and blood pressure rises. Blood pressure is reported as two numbers: systolic (when the heart contracts) over diastolic (when the heart is relaxed).
- Blood Testing includes:
- Blood glucose – When there's too much sugar in the diet or your body isn't efficient at clearing it and using it for fuel, blood glucose levels can rise and lead to insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes. Testing blood glucose levels (or, how much sugar is in the blood) helps screen for diabetes. Type I Diabetes is usually inherited or genetic, but Type II Diabetes is almost always a result of poor diet and lifestyle habits.
- Lipids – Evaluates risk factors for developing heart disease and are accurate predictors of heart disease.
- Total cholesterol – Main fat associated with heart disease. Elevated level is a risk factor for heart disease.
- LDL ("Bad cholesterol") – This type of cholesterol is often referred to as the “bad” type of cholesterol. It has gotten this reputation because it likes to congregate around the heart and build up when left unattended, creating blockages within the arteries.
- HDL ("Good cholesterol") – HDL cholesterol is referred to as the “good guys” because of their ability to grab the LDLs and take them back through the liver to be processed and eliminated.
- Triglycerides – Consider triglycerides as teenage LDLs – they aren’t yet causing any harm, but if there aren’t enough HDLs in the body to monitor them, the triglycerides eventually grow up to be LDLs.
Any lab work should be reviewed with your personal health care provider.
*Pregnant women should not fast.