Article date – 07 November 2018
Since it was first launched in St Helens in September 2017, over 1,100 employees from 11 companies across the borough have accessed the ‘Wellpoint’ health kiosk which allows users to undergo a free lifestyle check without the need of booking an appointment.
The Wellpoint machine – which has been fully booked up by businesses until August 2019 – asks users several questions about their lifestyle habits before allowing them to find out their main vitals such as weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure and heart rate, with results produced instantly.
At the end of the assessment, Wellpoint will indicate how likely the user is to develop heart disease in the next 10 years and offers tips and advice on how health and wellbeing can be improved.
One of the latest firms to benefit from the Wellpoint machine was Coral Products (Mouldings) LTD based on Haydock Industrial Estate which, during a six-week-period, saw half of its workforce take up the offer of a free health check, with many considering changing their outlook on health and eating habits on completion.
Group HR manager Stephanie Ingham said:“The kiosk is a positive move for the company and importantly, everyone’s well-being and health. We have been working with St Helens Council using the workplace health support for local companies, and the Wellpoint kiosk is already encouraging some of our staff to make lifestyle changes.
Paul Foster, one staff member to make changes to his lifestyle after using the kiosk, said:
“When the kiosk came in I was one of the first to use it because I hadn’t been exercising regularly for a long time and hadn’t had a medical examination in even longer.
“The Wellpoint kiosk was very easy to use, very quick and the on-screen charts made the results very easy to understand. My first use of the health kiosk showed that I’d put on over a stone in weight since I’d last been to a gym. This had a huge impact on me and I decided to make a change.
“Over the following weeks I’d signed back up to a gym and with regular exercise and a few tweaks to my diet I’ve lost 10lbs and I’m determined to carry on. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.”
As well as the mobile unit for business use, a Wellpoint is also available for members of the public to try out at the Smokefree St Helens Hub in St Helens town centre’s Hardshaw Shopping Centre during the hub’s opening hours of 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am – 2pm on Saturdays.
St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for public health, Councillor Gill Neal, who was among one of the first to try out the Wellpoint when it was first introduced, said:
“For many, the thought of having a health check can be a daunting prospect in case something unbeknown to us is discovered, like obesity or high blood pressure.
“However, our health is the most valuable thing we as human beings can possess and therefore it’s better to catch these conditions early rather than run the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
“It’s encouraging to hear that well over a 1,000 members of the public have taken up this opportunity, and it’s good to see businesses show such a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of their employees by getting on board too.”
Businesses and organisations looking to hire the Wellpoint kiosk are invited to contact St Helens Council’s Business Liaison Officer, Sue Waller, by calling 01744 676001 – or email SusanWaller@sthelens.gov.uk