The Pulse of SchoolCare, March 2021

Physical Health: The numbers you should know

Published March 1, 2021

What are the numbers?

Most of us can recite our cell phone number, birth date, bank PIN, and social security number without a second thought. But do you know the numbers that add up to good health? According to Harvard Health Publishing, there are several numbers to know when it comes to understanding and improving your physical health. These include:

  • BMI
  • Waist circumference
  • Blood pressure
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol levels 
  • Blood sugar 

Once you have a full understanding of these numbers, you can more effectively take steps to optimize physical and overall health. For example, if you have high blood pressure you may want to talk to your doctor about a potential diet change or exercise recommendations. It’s important to obtain these numbers each year to keep track of your progress and avoid potential health risks like heart disease or diabetes.

How do I get my numbers?

These important health numbers can be obtained by completing a biometric screening. Biometric screenings are short health exams that include bloodwork and body measurements. As a SchoolCare subscriber, you and your covered spouse can earn $150 for obtaining Biometrics this plan year (between July 1 and June 30) by:

  1. Completing and submitting a Physician Lab Form (65+ plan retirees keep "Patient's Cigna ID Number" blank)
  2. Having your physician order labs at a Quest or Labcorp facility (Available to Cigna Medical Participants only). 

I have my numbers, now what?

 Once you understand your Biometric numbers, you have a great foundation for building healthy habits. Here are 5 helpful next steps to consider:

    1. Have an open conversation with your doctor to identify potential issues.  This is a great way to plan for a healthy future.
    2. Keep a specific goal in mind. Making a measurable and obtainable goal is key to staying motivated when it comes to building new healthy habits.
    3. Don’t forget to reward yourself. Changing your lifestyle can be difficult, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself for each success. This might include getting yourself new workout clothes or simply giving yourself permission to take a nap.
    4. Track progress. Grab a journal or calendar and jot down the details of your total-health journey. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it can be a tool to remember your hard work.  
    5. Ask for support and change surroundings that aren’t working. Confiding in your doctor, spouse, and other loved ones can help you stay on track when things get difficult. You may even want to change surroundings to support your goals such as ingredients in the fridge or clearing a space for home exercise.

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