By migramirez - August 7, 2013

On Tuesday, July 30 I zipped down the hill from Nichol Hall on my scooter down to the Drayson Center for the school of Public Health’s Preventative Care Clinic.  The free event ran from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and for 4 hours, Dr. Dos Santos and other faculty, students and staff from the school of public health educated and informed all those who stopped by their booths.  When I arrived at around 4:30, the room was still full of a variety of people and the lines were still long.  There were young families with small children, students and many people with wisdom wrinkles on their faces.  All in attendance to learn about and experience preventative care, and did I mention it was free?

I looked around at the horseshoe of tables.  The line for the body composition was almost longer than the refreshment table, which offered fresh fruit but, had I come right at 3:00 I would have enjoyed another freebie; Jamba Juice.  After finding this out, I jotted it down and silently cursed my fashionably tardy Spanish roots.  Then I sheathed my pen and stepped up to a booth with the shortest line.

At my first booth, I learned that my health age is 23 and although I am 27 years old, my health age could be 20 if I began exercising 20-30 minutes most days per week.  Suddenly 4 years younger, I confidently stepped to the next booth that had no line.  On the table in front of me lay papers and tape measures.  I was given one of the papers ‘Waist and Hip Ratio and Risk of Metabolic Diseases’.  A student took a tape measure and ran it around my waist and then my hips.  Once again, good news, the student informed me that I am low risk for becoming obese.  Good thing I missed the Jamba Juice.  I looked around, through the crowd for the next readily available booth.  I spotted a big wheel that was aching to be spun, but the blood pressure line was shorter.  I sat down, rolled up my sleeve and was cuffed just above my elbow.  When the pressure of the cuff released it read 105/69, great looking, normal blood pressure.

Again, I glanced across the room at the wheel, now spinning, and as enticing as it was another booth was totally free, Hand Grip Strength. I was handed a tool that measured how strong my grip was by showing a number on a digital display.  I held the device in my right hand and squeezed until they told me to stop. I gave it all I got for what felt like 3 minutes, but was really only 3 seconds.  When I released I found out that my grip strength was below average for a 49-year-old male.  I was seeing exercise in my future.  I must admit I felt more than a little depressed as I stepped up to the Blue Zone booth.  After hearing a little about how Loma Linda is home to some of the longest living people in the world.  I cheered up.  Although I don’t live in Loma Linda, working here must add a few years to my life, at least a couple days but I digress…

My experience at the Preventative Health Clinic was fantastic.  I learned a little about health and a little bit more about one of my favorite subjects, me.  This report might sound a tad narcissistic but there is nothing selfish about taking care of your health.  In a world full of fast food and sedentary entertainment, it’s good to know that the Preventative Care Clinic put on by the school of Public Health at Loma Linda University is out there.  I look forward to the next one.

Marcus Chapman
School of Public Health, LLU