Health MOT

Health MOT: Keep Your Health on Track

Health MOT: Keep Your Health on Track

Become the healthiest version of yourself, and maintain results, with regular Health MOT checks

If the pandemic has done one thing, it has made us all the more aware of our health and the importance of staying as fit and well as we can. There are many tools and tests at our disposal to help ensure we stay on track, monitoring everything from blood pressure and BMI to skin changes and our eye health. Here’s your guide to getting your full health MOT.

Measure your BMI

Your body mass index indicates whether you are a healthy weight for your height. There is a calculator online. Your BMI is not a perfect indicator of health as it can’t distinguish between weight from muscle or if it’s fat. But it is a good starting point. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9.

Measure your waist

If you carry excess fat around your waist, you are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. To measure your waist: Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. Wrap a tape measure around your waist midway between these points. Breathe out naturally. You should try to lose weight if your waist is: 94cm (37ins) or over for men, 80cm+ (31.5ins) for women.

Check your blood pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart problems, stroke and vision loss. Lifestyle changes can help get your blood pressure within a healthy range. GP surgeries and some pharmacies can check your blood pressure. There are home monitors available too – useful if you feel anxious at a doctor’s surgery, which can give you a high result. The British Hypertension Society lists recommended monitors on its website.




Check your heart rate

You can measure your pulse yourself, either on your wrist or neck. There are also apps available on your phone. Most adults have a resting heartbeat between 60 and 100 beats per minute. You can also check if your pulse is irregular by feeling its rhythm. It’s very common to have occasional irregular heartbeats, such as missed beats. But if your pulse continues to be irregular, it can be a sign of a problem such as atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. The NHS website also has a quiz to check your heart age and how to improve it. See more.

The stair test

To check your fitness levels, one study claimed that climbing four flights of stairs in less than a minute indicates a decent level of fitness.

Eye tests

Get any changes to your vision checked out promptly. Plus, a visit to your optician isn’t just about your sight – your eyes might reveal problems including diabetes, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Self examination

Be aware of the signs of cancer and perform regular checks – for example, any changes in moles (use a mirror to check all over), breast changes (although rare, men should self-check too), mouth and testicles. Apps such as Miiskin helps you track any changes in your skin and moles. You can also map your skin – useful for noting any changes, particularly to your back, which is hard to see.

Private health assessments

Many private healthcare companies offer health checks. They run the whole range of tests, from breast and colon checks to mental health and coronary assessments. Gyms too might offer basic health and wellbeing assessments such as blood pressure and cholesterol tests.

NHS tests

The NHS offers a wide range of screening programmes, depending on your age, including bowel, breast, cervical, and cholesterol. There is also the general health check between the ages of 40 and 74.