The importance of regular health check ups


Every business relies on its people. Happy and healthy employees can play an important part in a company’s success.

Healthy can mean different things to different people and everyone has their own health goals. However there’s some truth in the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ — choosing healthier lifestyle habits may mean less absenteeism and presenteeism, and better health outcomes over time.

“Good health begins with prevention and that all starts with the individual,” explains Dr Paul Bates, Chief Medical Officer at Bupa. “Establishing good health habits means people may enjoy longer, healthier, happier lives. Regular check-ups are an important part of a prevention routine and can help keep people on track with their health goals.”

The aim of a health check is to help find, prevent or lessen the effect of disease. It’s like getting a car serviced before it breaks down — after all, it’s often better to pick up potential problems earlier rather than later. Health checks can provide health care professionals with an opportunity to look at a person’s lifestyle, medical history and family history to find out if they’re at risk of any preventable health conditions.

“Getting the right checks at the right time throughout life may help people detect potential health problems early on,” Dr. Bates says. “This may allow for earlier treatment and better outcomes. Health checks can also identify areas where improvements to lifestyle habits can help keep you on the right track”

Having regular health checks has several advantages. Health checks can help a person understand their health needs, values and concerns, and help identify some potential health risk factors where they can make healthy improvements. It may also make them more likely to feel comfortable talking openly with their health care team and may give them the confidence to participate in decisions about their health.

Here are some health checks to consider at different life stages.

In your 20s and 30s

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and glucose levels
  • BMI, waist and hip measurements
  • Dental check and cleaning
  • Skin cancer checks
  • Testes self-checks (men)
  • Breast self-checks (women)

If sexually active:

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) screenings
  • Pap smear every two years (women) 

In your 40s

All of the same checks as in your 20s and 30s plus:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment
  • Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
  • Mammogram (women)
  • Eye checks for glaucoma

In your 50s and 60s

All of the same checks as in your 40s plus:

  • Osteoporosis Risk Assessment
  • Bowel cancer screening (also called FOBT – faecal occult blood test)
  • Visual acuity and hearing impairment tests