By April 28, 2009

“I’m not dead yet!”

My employer requires all full-time employees to undergo an annual health examination. It’s a bare-bones, cursory exam that measures height, weight, waist, and blood pressure. A small sample of blood is taken to create a clone army check blood sugar levels and cholesterol. There is also a health questionnaire that asks about family medical history, eating, exercise, and drug use.

I guess I don’t mind, because the information is used partially for insurance purposes and I am reasonably healthy. However, it does give me the heebies that my employer requires something like this in the first place (unless there is a medical reason otherwise). What I believe the way it works is that those who fit within the insurance company’s definition of “healthy” get a slight discount, and every else pays list. Seems fair, but the exam I had today is not a decent health evaluation at all.

I would rather spend more time and undergo a true fitness test that includes heart rate, oxygen intake, etc. The problem with the BMI-esque height / weight / waist measurement is that I could be a really thin, under-fit person and still qualify as “healthy” under their algorithm. Conversely, someone could be very physically strong and in good cardiovascular shape but have more mass around the belly-button plane than considered “acceptable.”

Another concern was the accuracy of the measurements taken. I was eight pounds lighter this morning than when I weigh myself at home. Eight pounds. Granted, I’ve been trying to lean out a little more, but eight pounds on my frame at this point in my body’s development is a big variance. My waist measurement (belly button plane) was three and a half inches different from what I measured last week as part of my kettlebell and Great Body workout program. My height was a little off, but I just cut my hair last night, so who knows. 😉

Anyway, here are my immediate results:

Height: 5′ 11.75″ (slightly off)
Weight: 175# (eight pounds off)
Waist, rounded down to nearest inch: 32″ (off 3.5 inches, or three inches according to their rounding rules)
Blood pressure: 120 / 78

The nurse noted that my blood pressure would probably drop 10 – 15 on the front side if I had waited another ten to twenty minutes. I was in the examination center about ten minutes after arrival, and cutting through traffic at 80 – 90MPH probably didn’t help my pressure or my heart rate. Oh well, the price we pay for flying low.

Adult-onset diabetes runs in the family, so I will be interested to see what my blood test results show. I also eat more red meat in a month than most Americans do all year, so that will also be interesting.

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Posted in: fitness & grooming

5 Comments on "“I’m not dead yet!”"

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  1. Spectre says:

    You should have protested. It’s none of your works business of your health. All it is doing is giving them ammo against you incase they need to find a reason to fire employees, it also a violation of protected privacy regulations.

  2. Ed says:

    Mr Faulken, we need you to report to HR immediately. It seems that you have violated rule 23a.13.5(C) – “No discussion of employer-Employee contractual obligations allowed.” Just as your salary is a no no to discuss, so now is your health.

  3. Gremlin says:

    While it’s true that this test isn’t a measure of fitness, it is a great measure of future health problems. An underfit skinny guy is going to have less health problems than a fit guy carrying more fat that ideal. It sucks, but the stats that the health insurance companies use are pretty accurate at this point. That said, 8 pounds is huge, I’d calibrate my scale.

  4. drfaulken says:

    Holy shit, I just weighed myself. 172. Granted, I was just in my underwear, so 175 sounds about right.

    I haven’t been this light in over eleven years. Six pack, here I come. 🙂

  5. Starbuck says:

    I told you that you looked smaller 🙂 in the waist