Get a free health check as part of healthy towns

Health Science
Dr. Niamh Murphy, Centre for Health Behaviour Research at WIT

Dr. Niamh Murphy, Centre for Health Behaviour Research at WIT

As part of the healthy towns project, a series of health checks are taking place in Kilkenny this week. Dr Niamh Murphy from the Centre for Health Behaviour Research at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is spearheading the campaign and Seamus Nugent, a student on the BA (Hons) in Exercise & Health Studies, is coordinating the screenings.

As part of the healthy towns project, a series of health checks are taking place in Kilkenny this week. Dr Niamh Murphy from the Centre for Health Behaviour Research at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is spearheading the campaign and Seamus Nugent, a student on the BA (Hons) in Exercise & Health Studies, is coordinating the screenings.

On Tuesday, health checks were carried out at the Newpark Family Resource Centre and people were able to avail of the free health checks in the Father McGrath family resource centre Wednesday evening from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

Kilkenny’s exciting draw in the hurling final has had one unforeseen consequence – the first in a series of health checks as part of the healthy towns project was deferred. A team from WIT was due to be on hand from 4.00pm on Canal Square, to coincide with the Kilkenny team’s homecoming. These particular health checks will now take place this Saturday from 11.00am to 5.00pm on the steps of the Town Hall, High Street.

The WIT team is being lead by Dr Niamh Murphy, who will be offering free health checks to anyone who would like one. They will check your blood pressure, body mass index (bmi), waist circumference and cholesterol level.

A squad of specially trained fourth year and postgraduate students with BA (Hons) in Health & Exercise Studies will take people through the tests and talk about changing aspects of your lifestyle where necessary.

Dr. Murphy, who works in WIT’s department of health, sport and exercise science, says the team will also be available to meet people or talk to them by phone afterwards. “We won’t be lecturing people about their lifestyles,’’ she says. “It is most important that people feel comfortable about it.”

People will be able to obtain information about a huge range of activities and events which are planned around the healthy towns project, a joint initiative by The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. It will run over the next ten weeks and the health checks are the first stage of the project which aims to get the community working together towards better health through a range of initiatives.

For many people, a health screening provides peace of mind that they are perfectly healthy, according to Murphy.

She is encouraging people to drop along to the health checks – they do not have to take part on that particular day – but there will be plenty of general health information available at the events, including advice leaflets from organisations such as the Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Cancer Society and Safefood.

If the health checks do detect something, Niamh and her team will be offering free health checks from 11.00am to 5.00pm at the Town Hall, High Street Kilkenny on Saturday. “We don’t want to alarm people, nor do we want people who are screened to slip through the net,” she says.

In all, four screening events will be held. For more information on events, click http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/healthy-towns/events-calendar/

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Exercise Sciences (Common Entry)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Sport & Exercise Science
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Nutrition & Exercise Science
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Health & Exercise Science

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