Know Your Numbers—and the Facts—to Stay Healthy
The American Heart Association (AHA) has set a goal to improve national heart health and reduce mortality due to heart conditions by 20 percent by 2020. In order to accomplish this goal, the AHA released seven metrics for consumers to adopt for improved heart and overall health:
- Reduce smoking habits
- Reduce overall body weight
- Practice healthy eating
- Engage in physical activity
- Monitor glucose levels
- Monitor blood pressure readings
- Monitor cholesterol levels
Results from a 2015 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that people who achieve at least six of these metrics will significantly reduce their risk of all-cause mortality than those who meet no more than one metric.
However, the survey identified that less than one percent of adults follow a healthy eating regimen, only 32 percent exhibit a normal BMI and over 30 percent fail to meet target cholesterol or blood pressure readings. Additionally, there was a relatively high prevalence of smoking among adults, and especially among adults exhibiting sedentary lifestyles.
Despite the proven reduction in mortality, American adults fail to exhibit the necessary behaviors to prevent chronic health conditions. This can be devastating to individual health, but it is also a burden on society as a whole since the prevalence of these costly chronic continues to grow. The study suggests two key causes:
- Current consumer education and engagement strategies are inadequate in preventing chronic conditions and changing health behavior.
- There are substantial challenges to overcome in order to motivate consumers to change their behavior and adhere to prevention guidelines.
While nationwide efforts like the AHA’s have proven unsuccessful, workplace wellness programs are serving as promising prevention solutions. BioIQ helps automate these programs with a proven solution for engaging employees and dependents in biometric testing and targeted follow up. To read more, take a look at our white papers, where you will find a complete explanation of the importance of population health screening for motivating good health and monitoring progress.
Please also take a look at these related articles on diabetes and heart disease if you want specific information about monitoring, tracking and preventing these conditions.
1 Go, A. S., Bauman, M. A., Coleman King, S. M., Fonarow, G. C., Lawrence, W., Williams, K. A., & Sanchez, E. (2014). An effective approach to high blood pressure control. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(12), 1230–1238.
2 Burke, L. E., Ma, J., Azar, K. M. J., Bennett, G. G., Peterson, E. D., Zheng, Y., … Quinn, C. C. (2015). Current science on consumer use of mobile health for cardiovascular disease prevention. Circulation, 132(12), 1157–1213.