When roving Duke nurses visited his office last year, Bill Phillips figured it was a convenient way to get a health assessment.
During the free screening, nurses checked blood pressure, height and weight, and measured cholesterol and glucose.
Phillips discovered his cholesterol level was nearly 70 points higher than the recommended level for adults. The nurse recommended following up with his doctor, who prescribed a daily medication for high cholesterol.
By taking medicine and using the elliptical machine three times a week, Phillips lowered his total cholesterol level to a healthy 158.
“It may have been years until I realized I had high cholesterol without this screening,” said Phillips, benefits project manager for Duke Human Resources. “The screening was the nudge I needed to make some changes to my health.”
Free biometric screenings are part of the Healthy Duke initiative, which offers the wellness website, “My Health,” where employees can assess, track and calculate how health and lifestyle choices influence overall wellness.
Staff and faculty who create an account on My Health complete a lifestyle questionnaire that provides a summary report on physical activity, nutrition, sleep and stress. The website also provides information on how to receive an in-person biometric screening on campus to measure blood pressure, height, weight, body mass index, cholesterol and glucose.
Based on results of the questionnaire and biometric screening, you receive an “Overall Wellness Score.” The score, ranging from 0 to 100, represents lifestyle choices and how they affect your health. Based on the score, you can set wellness goals and work with a health coach to create an action guide for healthy behaviors.
“My Health provides the tools and resources to help employees better understand their health risks and how to manage or decrease those risks,” said Julie Joyner, program coordinator for Healthy Duke. “We want employees to fully embrace the many resources, benefits and services available to live their best life.”
Duke University Hospital nurse Chelsea Daley made an impromptu stop for a biometric screening after attending a class about treating patients with diabetes in November.
During the screening, she patiently answered the nurse’s questions about exercise and diet. Daley, a clinical nurse for pulmonary-renal surgery, wanted to know her glucose level since it can be an indicator of diabetes.
The nurse told Daley she had a healthy glucose level of 83.
“That’s a relief,” Daley said with a smile. “I’m glad I took time to do this so I have an idea where I stand with my health.”
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