Mackay Regional Council is challenging local businesses and other councils by leading the way in helping improve the overall health and well-being of the community by health screening their employees.
During December, council employees can undertake a short 10-minute test by CQR Health onsite which will provide instant, personalised health feedback on the potential risks of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes as well as give a screenshot of each participant’s overall health.
CQR Health Manager Jenny Townley said a Gratton Institute report recently identified Mackay as having up to four times the state average for preventable diseases like angina, congestive cardiac failure and emphysema.
By participating in health screening with CQR Health, which is a division of RACQ CQ Rescue, Mackay Regional Council was helping raise awareness encouraging the community and their employees to talk about health issues, risks and how small lifestyle changes could have huge benefits to overall health.
“Mackay has been identified as a hotspot of health inequality so it’s fantastic to see Mackay Regional Council leading the way by encouraging their employees to participate in a screening program which can highlight the risk of and reduce preventable disease,” Ms Townley said.
“This is an efficient and confidential screening process which can ensure council employees will be healthier, happier and more productive.”
The health screening, which would be available to both field and office workers at the at the Sir Albert Abbott Administration building in Gordon Street from December 5 and at various depots including Mirani and Sarina, involved just two simple steps, Ms Townley said.
“We record height, weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and each participant completes a questionnaire about their lifestyle,” she said.
“This helps identify issues pertaining to alcohol and tobacco use, breast cancer awareness, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, prostate cancer risk, psychological distress, depression, sleep disorders and fatigue.”
The health screening results were presented in a traffic light representation, with green indicating low risk, yellow indicating moderate risk and red indicating high risk.
“A lot of people don’t even realise they are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes until they are well on the way or actually have it,” Ms Townley said.
“Health screening can help identify your risk as well as enable you to put in place a plan to make the necessary changes to avoid or reverse it and other associated help risks.”
By choosing CQR Health to conduct the health screening, Mackay Regional Council was also giving back to a life-saving community-funded organisation, the Mackay-based rescue helicopter service.
“The benefit of this screening is two-fold. It’s helping the community get on top of preventable disease and improving their health as well as raising money for RACQ CQ Rescue and its vital life-saving service,” Ms Townley said.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said employee health and wellbeing was a priority for the council.
“Our intent as an employer is to provide our staff with the information and tools they need to lead a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
“We already offer corporate rates on a gym membership and health insurance, subsidised mole scans and free counselling services. The health screenings are another great initiative, providing staff with advice about their general wellbeing and lifestyle choices if they want to avail themselves of this service.
“We hope that through leading by example, we can encourage other businesses in the community to get behind this program.”