Health Screenings: Why You Should Get One & Why People Avoid Them
Unfortunately, annual health screenings are often overlooked. These days, everyone is so busy all the time, it’s easy to forget to schedule this much-needed checkup. Following are 5 reasons why you should not miss your annual health screening- and three reasons why people often avoid it.
5 Reasons to Schedule Your Exam Today: Health Screenings
Reduces Risk of Heart Attack
Heart disease is a very common issue. However, for individuals over the age of 35, having an annual EKG can reduce your risk of having a heart attack by as much as 47 percent. If you are over the age of 40, you would be wise to request a stress echo during your annual checkup to significantly decrease your chances of having a heart attack. Additionally, during your exam, you might want to ask your physicians about common versus uncommon signs and symptoms leading up to a heart attack.
Identify Chronic Conditions
Unfortunately, there are many people who do have some sort of chronic condition, but are not aware of it. In fact, more than 133 million people suffer from an undiagnosed chronic condition. When you participate in an annual health screening, it’s much more likely that a chronic condition will be identified- which means that a treatment plan can be put into place. In many cases, with proper care/treatment plans in place, a chronic condition is not life-threatening. Some things you may want to discuss with your physician to help with diagnosing a chronic condition are changes in your sleep patterns, eating patterns, and any other changes in your normal habits.
Reduces Your Chances of Cervical Cancer Fatality
For women, annual health screenings are critical because it can decrease her chances of dying from cervical cancer by up to 70 percent. After all, early detection is the best way to treat and eliminate the cancer as quickly and as painlessly as possible. There really is no other more desirable solution. When it comes to men, an annual health screening is just as critical because by getting their PSA levels checked, it’s easier for their physician to identify early warning signs of cancer as well as treat cancers that have already formed.
Decreases Chances of Developing Diabetes
During your annual physical, your physician is going to carry out a variety of tests that will reveal the likelihood of the patient developing diabetes. When these early warning signs are identified and the physician discusses with the patient their exercise and eating habits, they can help avoid developing Type 2 diabetes. Without an annual health exam, individuals are about 66 more likely to develop diabetes than those who do get an annual exam.
According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, more than 46 percent of deaths in the United States could have been prevented if they had only gotten a yearly health exam. During these screenings, the physician talks about diet and exercise habits, tobacco use, untreated infections, and more- all of which can be addressed early on and help the patient avoid an early death. Of course, it’s critical that patients answer questions honestly because the answers will reveal to the physician what tests should be carried out. Most of the time, these diagnoses and treatments are what end up saving their patient’s lives.
While it’s true and life is hectic and filled with so many other things, you shouldn’t let your health suffer. Then again, there are those people who do have the time, but they avoid it anyway, for one or more reasons. However, it’s not logical to avoid them because if you’re not healthy, what do you have?
Why Do People Avoid Health Screenings?
Many times, company wellness programs rely on health risk assessments/screenings in order to drive down health care spending. However, many works don’t have the time or are just unwilling to participate in these evaluations, so it’s difficult to get a wellness initiative off the ground.
Following are some of the most common excuses that people use to avoid health screenings and how to overcome them.
I don’t want to know!
Surveys done all across the country have revealed that most people simply don’t want to know whether or not they have a terminal illness. They’d rather keep living their lives as if nothing at all is wrong. Of course, in most company wellness screenings, you’re not really talking about a life and death situation, but the same thing applies: most employees don’t want to face their issues and would rather remain apathetic. They’re just not interested in dealing with the stress of knowing that they have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
As an employer, you can explain to your employees that dealing with an issue now will actually result in less stress in the long run. After all, when you resolve a minor problem early on, you will prevent it from becoming a more serious issue later on and causing more mental anguish.
I’m a private person.
Many times, employees are afraid that their health info will be shared for nefarious purposes. They see the stories about identity theft and what happens when/if the wrong person gets ahold of their info- and therefore, assume that the worst will happen to them.
In addition, most people simply sign the HIPAA release at their physician’s office without actually taking the time to read it, so they don’t realize that their health info is protected by law.
You can combat this by reminding your employees that laws such as HIPAA and the penalties for non-compliance have been put into place to protect their health information.
I don’t like needles.
Okay, so this is a tricky one. If you have an employee that doesn’t like, or is afraid of needles, there’s not a whole lot you can do to get them through that. However, that doesn’t mean there’s NOTHING you can do.
If you are offering health care screenings on site, work with the person administering the testing and find out if they can do a fingerstick instead. If they agree to do this, let your employees know, it may help them to realize they don’t have to face the needles that they hate or are afraid of.
Having an annual health screening is critical for everyone. However, not everyone has time to schedule it into their lives. By offering this service on site at your business, you can help yourself and your employees.