Hypertension, obesity, and overweight, which harm worker health and productivity, are epidemic in the United States. Among adults in the United States, approximately 30% are hypertensive, one-third are obese, and one-third are overweight. Hypertension, obesity, and overweight increase many other health risks, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, depression, and respiratory problems.v[Reference 1]
- According to the American Heart Association (AHA):
Workplace wellness programs are an important strategy to prevent the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, including cigarette smoking, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, physical inactivity, and diabetes.
- Self-testing stations for blood pressure and body weight are an attractive screening tool.
- The value of such stations is that employees can privately screen themselves for adverse health conditions, and if used in combination with existing wellness programming, employees could self-identify themselves as needing additional lifestyle and/or pharmacological interventions. [Reference 2]
More than 1000 worksites use self-testing worksite health stations to enable workers to measure their blood pressure and weight. [Reference 3] Examples of the use of self-testing worksite health stations illustrate their role in monitoring health risks due to hypertension and obesity. At a financial services company which installed self-testing worksite health stations to measure blood pressure and weight, more than 4000 workers measured their blood pressure and weight.
Among these workers, approximately 27% had hypertension, 38% were obese and 35% were overweight. Employees who were hypertensive or obese used the health stations more frequently than employees without these risk factors. Many employees used the health stations to monitor their progress in reducing their health risks due to hypertension, obesity, or overweight. [Reference 4]
At a large manufacturing company which installed self-testing worksite health stations at its plants to enable its workers to measure blood pressure and weight, approximately 1,500 workers saved their measurements on the health stations. Of these workers, 23% were hypertensive, 36% were obese, and 37% were overweight.
At a trucking company which used self-testing worksite health stations to measure blood pressure and weight at health screenings for its drivers, more than 1000 drivers measured their blood pressure and weight. Among these drivers, 31% were hypertensive, 49% were obese, and 39% were overweight. Self-testing workplace health stations which measure blood pressure and weight:
- Increase awareness of hypertension, obesity, and overweight as health and productivity risks
- Provide convenient tools for workers to monitor blood pressure and weight while they are at work
- Enable workers to transfer their measurements into health risk assessments and personal health records
- Support health and wellness programs
- Provide motivation to reduce health risks
- Can be located in convenient, high-traffic locations
- Promote awareness of health and wellness programs
- Provide visible evidence of an organization's commitment to a culture of health
Enable employers to manage health and wellness programs which are effective in reducing the health risks of their workers.Self-testing workplace health stations are a convenient and effective tool for reducing health and productivity risks due to hypertension and obesity.
- Worksite wellness programs for cardiovascular disease prevention: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2009; 120: 1725-1741.
- Kelly JT: Evaluating employee health risks due to hypertension and obesity: self-testing workplace health stations. Postgraduate Medicine 2009; 121: 152-158.
About Lifeclinic: Lifeclinic is the world's largest supplier of commercial, automated, blood pressure monitors and health stations. Lifeclinic monitors are in over 30,000 pharmacies and 5,000 worksites, medical clinics and health clubs worldwide, and account for approximately 500 million blood pressure measurements annually.
Lifeclinic monitors, health stations and management systems encourage individuals to take an active role in their health and provide corporate managers with tools to help reduce costs and improve the health of employees. Additional information about Lifeclinic is available at www.lifeclinic.com.