What health checks do women need?

It's important see your doctor every year for a women’s health check. This will help in the prevention and early detection of any health issues, when they are often more easily and effectively treated. It's recommended that workplaces encourage employees to get their health checks done regularly.

What is a health check?

A health check involves a visit to your doctor to assess your current state of health. It ensures early detection of health issues with physical check-ups and screening tests. Health checks can do a great deal to save lives. For example:

  • According to BreastScreen NSW, for every 1000 women who have a mammogram screening every two years from age 50 to 74, between six to 10 deaths from breast cancer will be prevented
  • A 2014 Australian study found that people who had checks for bowel cancer through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program had 15% less risk of dying from bowel cancer, and were more likely to have less advanced bowel cancers when diagnosed.

Blood pressure check

What does a health check involve?

A health check usually consists of:

  • talking to your doctor about your current health, any current or recent symptoms, and identifying any potential health issues you may have
  • an assessment of risk factors you may have that may increase your risk of health conditions in the future, such as a family history of breast cancer or heart disease
  • a discussion about your diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking; your doctor may then write a ‘lifestyle prescription’ to help you make healthier lifestyle choices
  • physical checks, such as a breast examination or skin check
  • follow-up screening tests, such as blood tests to screen for type 2 diabetes or monitor cholesterol levels.

Activity 1. Ideas for workplaces

  • Workplaces can arrange onsite health checks for their employees. Some external health check providers offer packages, depending on what tests are to be performed. Most provide results the same day
  • Put up signs around the office to prompt employees to get their health checks done. You can use our printable posters (see below) to promote the recommended health checks for different ages
  • Have a 'health check day' at work a couple of times a year, or offer specific time for employees to get these checks done externally at a health provider that is close to the workplace
  • Include health checks as part of your workplace health and wellbeing program, which could include email reminders to employees.

Woman smiling

Activity 2. Poster

Download this 2-page poster to display or hand out to your group or work colleagues. It details which health checks women need, how often and at what ages.

Activity 3. Listen to a podcast

What stops you from getting health checks? It’s all in the mind.
Woman looking out to horizon
Together with your group, listen to this podcast. Jean Hailes psychologist Ms Gillian Needleman explains the reasons why we put off important tasks and how to overcome these obstacles.

More resources for workplaces

Health checks fact sheet

Download the Jean Hailes Health checks fact sheet to learn more about the different health checks, how and where to get them and what's involved.

Check your health

Know your numbers

Knowing the numbers of key health measures can help you to know if you need to make some changes to benefit your current and future health.

Learn more

Be SunSmart

Getting outside for a lunchtime stroll or run is a great idea, but make sure you do it safely. Workplaces can download the free SunSmart widget for their website, which shows sun protection times for your location.

Free widget and app