Sunday, March 10, 2013

Measure Your Progress with Biometric Screenings -- Guest Post by Cyndi Fales

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

We are offering biometric screenings to staff as part of our program. I asked Cyndi to explain what we're offering and why. The screenings will include blood pressure, body composition, waist circumference, weight, glucose and cholesterol. Both the glucose and cholesterol screenings are venipuncture blood draws and will require fasting. Cyndi partnered with us to develop a comprehensive body composition report a few years ago that we'll be using. You can learn more about that in this post she wrote

The screenings will be preformed by LWS in our office on March 11 and April 17. If you're participating from home, you can request these screenings at your doctor's office or see Cyndi's tips at the bottom of the post.

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The Mediterranean Diet has a lot of health claims….So let’s test it out! LifeWork Strategies will be onsite at the start and finish of the 30 day challenge to offer biometric screenings (March 11th and April 17th for this challenge). All individual results are confidential. These biometric screenings are all “Numbers that Count” and can help us assess the success of our 30 day Mediterranean Challenge.

Blood Pressure is the force created by the heart as it pushes blood in and out of the arteries. Each time the heart beats blood is pumped in and out and creates a surge of pressure in the arteries. This is called the systolic pressure, which is expressed as the top number of your reading and should be less than 120. When the heart relaxes between beats, the blood pressure goes down and this is called the diastolic pressure which is expressed as the bottom number of your reading and should be less than 80. 

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. BMI provides an indicator of body fat for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. The higher your BMI score, the higher your risk for heart disease. Optimal BMI score is 18.5­- 24.9. 

Waist Circumference is the measurement around your torso, just above your navel. The location of fat on your body is significant. You are at a higher risk for health problems if you carry excess fat around your waist, rather than your hips and thighs. It is recommended that women have a waist circumference of less than 35 inches and men have a waist circumference of less than 40 inches. 

Lipid Profile is a blood test measures your: Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels. In general, total cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dL. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, should be greater than 50 mg/dL for women and greater than 40 mg/dL for men. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol, should be less than 160 mg/dL, and triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL. 

Glucose is a blood test that measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood. Having elevated glucose levels is an indicator of diabetes. In general, up to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered normal for a fasting blood glucose test. Persons with levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL have pre‐diabetes and may be retested every one to two years after diagnosis. 

If you are not able to make it to the screenings or you have family members that want to participate, check out the following resources to do the assessments:

Calculate Your BMI and Waist Circumference

Free Community Blood Pressure Screening (Cholesterol and Glucose screenings available for a fee at some of these events).

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