What is Biometric Screening & What Does It Measure?

Biometric Screening

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Biometric screening has become an integral part of healthcare and wellness programs. 

Nowadays many employers opt to offer biometric screening to their employees.

It’s essentially a clinical evaluation of one’s important health scores, in order to ascertain a baseline to test one’s risk for certain health issues.

What is Biometric Screening?

Biometric screening refers to a clinical screening which is carried out to identify certain health conditions as well as monitor them.

It’s often used by employers to check their employees’ health conditions, especially in relation to diabetes and heart disease.

What Happens During Biometric Screening?

Laboratory Blood Tests
A blood sample is taken to a lab for testing. Image credit: Pixabay

A biometric screening typically comprises the following:

  • Some blood is drawn from the person’s finger. This is pricked in order to measure glucose levels, cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
  • The resting blood pressure rate is captured.
  • BMI measurements are taken after having measured one’s height, weight and waist circumference.

What’s Measured During Biometric Screening?

Doctor Measuring Patient Blood Pressure
A blood pressure check is a standard part of biometric screening. Image credit: Pexels

The following health indicators will be measured during a biometric screening.

Glucose (Blood Sugar)

The glucose in the blood is an indicator of one’s energy levels.

It’s important to keep an eye on glucose levels to determine whether you can be prediabetic.


In a biometrics exam two types of cholesterol are measured, namely LDL and HDL.

The former are the low-density lipids which are sometimes also referred to as bad cholesterol, whereas the latter, high-density lipids are commonly known as good cholesterol.

These are added together, along with 20% of the person’s triglyceride levels to obtain the total blood cholesterol result.

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is an important result.

It’s given as two numbers, a large number (systolic) and a slightly smaller number (diastolic).

The former refers to the maximum pressure which is exerted by heartbeats whereas the second number reflects the pressure that is present between the beats. 

Blood pressure will vary from one person to another but as a general rule, normal blood pressure is when it is less than 120/80 mm Hg.

Should the result be over 140/90 it means that one will have a high blood pressure. 

Pre-hypertension can also be ascertained from the blood pressure result.


The waist measurement is another measurement taken during a biometric exam.

This measurement helps to gauge the amount of abdominal fat.

In the case of a woman a waistline that is over 35 inches may reflect an increased risk of diseases attributed to obesity.

In the case of men, a waist circumference of over 40 inches is considered to be problematic.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The BMI measures body fat.

It’s an important indicator of whether one is healthy as it determines if that person is underweight, overweight or obese. 

The BMI is calculated by taking into account the weight and the height of a person.

A high BMI often means that one has a higher risk of being diabetic or developing certain conditions.

Why Biometric Screening is Important

Biometric screening offers valuable information about employees’ health.

Through biometric screening it is concluded whether one is obese, and certain risks are also discerned, such as for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea.

Once the results are provided, one will be in a better position to take the necessary measures to improve his or her condition.

Biometric screening also benefits employers as well as corporations.

The screening is an ideal baseline assessment of the employees’ overall health condition. 

Any emerging health conditions can be ascertained and, subsequently, properly monitored. 

As a result, serious health issues can be reduced or prevented.

Biometric screening is particularly ideal for companies where certain health conditions can be even more problematic.

This includes construction sites, and industries or jobs which rely heavily on physical labor.

Chronic conditions could lead to serious injuries or accidents on the job, and hence biometric screening can help to prevent this.

Benefits of Biometric Screening

Happy Work Colleagues
Healthy workers are usually happy workers. Image credit: Unsplash

Indeed, as already discussed there are numerous benefits to biometric screening.

Let’s go into more detail below:

Saves Time & Money

The amount of time and money that is lost as a result of reduced productivity at the workplace due to employees’ illness is often underestimated.

Biometric screening helps employees to be aware of any health issues, and consequently, they can take corrective action before their health condition worsens.

Fewer sick days and improved productivity will thus be attained, thus leading to time and money being saved.

Increases Morale

Better health also means that one is in a better state of mind and this results in improved morale.

Moreover, employees feel more valued when their employers show that they care for their health.

Identify Early Stage Illness & Disease

Diseases and illnesses can be identified in their early stages thanks to biometric screening. 

With early detection, the health condition can be kept under control or improved.

This means that less money will be spent by employers in the long run, as well as fewer sick days, claim costs, a lower probability of accidents at the workplace and improved workforce longevity. 

How to Prepare for a Biometric Examination

A biometric screening essentially provides a considerably clear snapshot of your present state healthwise.

To improve the accuracy of its results, it’s important to avoid doing anything unusual beforehand. 

For instance, you should not drink an energy drink or take weight loss supplements in the hope of trying to get a better result.

Here are some things you should consider prior to taking this examination:

  • Do not ingest food or drink anything other than water 12 hours before the exam.
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes so that your measurements can be taken easily.
  • Take any prescribed medications as instructed.
  • Try to remain calm. Breathing and relaxation exercises can help.


Biometric screening is beneficial as it can offer a clear picture of your health, while alerting you of anything you should be aware of.

Certain conditions can be detected and improved once the results of this screening are provided, thus allowing you to be healthier.

This screening is also helpful for employers as it can avoid health concerns from becoming problematic unless they are detected and properly addressed by the employees.

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