Taking This Test Does Wonders For Your Health
As the saying goes, health is wealth. By staying healthy, anyone can live long, fulfilling lives and achieve life goals. According to preventive medicine experts, 45% of Americans have at least one chronic disease. The best way to improve overall health is to know one’s health status. A health risk assessment does that and much more. A health risk assessment or HRA can uncover potential health risks that can cause future medical problems.
All about HRAs
An HRA is an online questionnaire covering all parts of life, including sleep, nutrition, stress, vitals, and activity levels. The data can calculate a patient’s risk for lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and much more. Based on the risk score, the doctor can make recommendations to reduce the chances of chronic disease. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandated that an HRA become part of the Annual Wellness Visit. Some workplaces even have automated HRA software available that employees can fill out annually.
Knowledge is power
Upon obtaining the data on overall health status and potential risk factors, healthcare providers can then design a health strategy for each patient. This will mainly target removing the identified health risks and maintaining healthy practices. With a periodic HRA, doctors can also monitor if progress has been made and adjust the strategy as necessary. These steps can significantly improve the quality of life long-term.
There’s a caveat
Accuracy of data is one of the biggest challenges of health risk assessments. The data is down to the accuracy and honesty of the patients. For instance, patients can report inaccurate blood pressure or omit lifestyle information. Leaving vital information out can cause severe damage in the future. Someone can develop lifestyle diseases that may have been preventable.
The number one way to improve your overall health
HRA has another great benefit. The assessment brings awareness to the importance of improving overall health. One of the simplest ways to do so is to be more active. Exercising can do wonders for the body. Exercises as simple as brisk walking for 30 minutes each day can significantly lessen the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Make exercising a habit and increase the intensity over time, which will add years to life.
Maintain a healthy weight
Losing weight is already a big challenge for most. Maintaining weight is yet another level of difficulty. Both are critical for improving overall health. For anyone that’s overweight, shedding just a few pounds can have positive, long-term effects. Start by reducing sugar intake from juices and sodas and drink water instead. Then move on to reducing processed foods, replacing these with fruits and vegetables. These simple changes can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.
Have an annual wellness visit
Even with exercise and diet changes, getting yearly checkups can help improve overall health. An annual wellness visit is a check-in with a doctor to assess basic vitals, physical health, and overall wellness. Ironically, annual wellness visits also include an HRA so that the information can be up-to-date. Having the right data at all times is critical for overall health.
Your health matters
A health risk appraisal or assessment is all about taking charge of one’s health. Taking the time to fill out the questionnaire can be the spark needed to make lifestyle changes. More and more Americans are suffering from chronic diseases, which will continue to be a challenge in the future. Health risk assessments turn healthcare into a proactive practice instead of a reactive one. Speak with a doctor or healthcare provider to perform an HRA today.