Healthy mind, healthy body

by 16 Oct 2014
Kristina Dalgleish, director of Health@Work, outlines how employers can ensure their executive employees remain fit and healthy.

HC: What’s involved in an ‘executive health check’?
Kristina Dalgleish: An executive health check represents an in-depth, confidential, individual health assessment. These checks cover all key components required to offer a full overview of an executive’s health and lifestyle status. Recommendations for health and lifestyle profile improvements are offered and referrals to specialists given where required.
This assists in ensuring intervention and response to any critical warning signs whilst educating executives about their health and wellbeing to mitigate future risks.
Once booked, the executive will have a nurse take a blood for a full pathology – it will be a fasting blood test, then generally within a week they will have an approximately three-hour session starting with an exercise physiologist for a full ECG fitness test. This will include flexibility, core strength and a nutrition & lifestyle questionnaire. Then a GP will assess all test results and conduct other tests such as BP, full body skin analysis, lung function, optical and – depending on gender – a few other relevant tests. Once this is completed the executive receives with a full report with health and lifestyle recommendations.
HC: What is the purpose of such a check – is it to identify potential problems or to develop tailored programs to improve health?
KD: There are multiple reasons to undertake an annual executive health check. The main purpose is to proactively assess both physical and lifestyle aspects of their health and if any changes have occurred within the 12 month period. Then an individual plan can be tailored to address any issues or concerns. This can involve exercise programs, nutritionists, dietary advice, organisational psych sessions even mindful meditation techniques.
HC: If a problem is identified, what’s the next step?
KD: Of course it all depends on the budget allocated to such programs; however, in saying that, many companies now see the how invaluable these program can be as preventative health insurance.
Say if we identified weight, high BP and Chol – which all usually go hand in hand. The first steps would be a one-on-one with our health coach, discussing how they got there, what impedes them in being within a healthy weight range etc. Then they would undertake a consultation from our nutritionist to advise dietary requirements, and also a personal trainer session for exercise requirements. Finally, the health coach with the other experts will develop a personalised plan, including goal setting, training sessions, food shopping expedition, motivational sessions – really anything that is identified as a hurdle, obstacle in getting them back to ideal health.
HC: How about mental wellbeing?
KD: This is such an area of demand. We have highly experienced organisational psychologists who have developed a wide variety of programs and support tools to cover most company’s requirements – from senior executives through to employees.
We are very conscious of the importance of having programs that cover all demographics and can reach companies in their entirety.
As a result of this, Health@Work, has a wide-range of services and initiatives – from one-hour awareness seminars to full-day workshops, online mental health profiling tools, engaging four-week personal challenges, awareness packs and mindfulness training. We tailor programs to suit each workplace environment, their demographics, logistics and budgets – educating on both stress management and resilience.