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Links in the healthy lifestyle

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2012-11-14 10:09

Going for an annual medical checkup is only a status report on how you have lived your life, and it is maintaining a suitable lifestyle that will complete the circle of good health.

The Chinese people are experiencing a better quality of life than ever before, but it also translates to a more sedentary, more stressful life.

The result, obviously, is the high incidence of lifestyle-related health problems such as cancer, obesity, hypertension and diabetes, among others.

After receiving their checkup reports, most people will flip through anxiously, and some may even turn to the Internet for help in interpreting the mysterious terms and numbers that baffle the ordinary person.

Hospitals and medical professionals, too, have noticed this demand, and they have come up with services that not only help patients understand what their medical reports say, but also help them maintain better health.

Zhang Huiting, 26, who works with a Beijing high-tech company, has been enjoying such health maintenance services since 2010.

Every year, she goes to a private health provider to have her checkup, and then she follows their personalized lifestyle instructions, such as diet and exercise.

"Their diet instruction is very useful. They will compare checkup results year on year, and suggest that I take more of some specific foods, and reduce intake of others," Zhang says. "They also tell me to exercise more to become healthier, and will make calls to encourage me."

"More and more people realize a medical checkup is only one link in the chain to keep healthy," says Du Bing, deputy president of the Beijing Health Management Association, which was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 institutional and corporate members.

Many medical checkup centers, especially private ones, have widened their service scope to provide additional report analyses, medical treatment assistance, and lifestyle direction. That is in response to demand, Du says.

Many employers purchase medical checkups for their workers, and also look out for health and lifestyle motivational speakers or courses.

"Many of those who go for medical checkups are not up to par, healthwise. They don't need medical intervention, but they need instructions for a healthier life," says Guan Jie, director with Medical Checkup Center of China-Japan Friendship Hospital. "It is meaningless to go for checkups if there is no efficient follow-up."

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