Issue 14
Monday, 28 August 2017
Charles Darwin University
The team from HealthLAB
The team from HealthLAB

Menzies HealthLAB hits the road for Science Week

By Melody Song

Territorians from Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands to Gunbalanya in Arnhem Land recently received a snapshot of their overall physical health from one of the NT’s most interesting mobile laboratories.

HealthLAB, an initiative of the Menzies School of Health Research, promoted healthy lifestyle choices to more than 350 Territorians during National Science Week.

As people moved through the various stations, which measured blood pressure, carbon monoxide in their lungs and showed internal organs on ultrasound, they gained a better understanding of their bodies and received information about how to improve their health.

Other stations included a vertical jump that indicated lower body strength, while a grip strength test measured upper body strength.

HealthLAB director Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan said the mobile lab was a great way for people to have a hands-on experience with the medical technology, and improve their awareness of how current lifestyle choices – such as smoking or healthy eating – can impact their health in the future.

“We received great feedback from schools and the general public during this tour, which saw NT lawmakers and the captain of NT Thunder Shannon Rioli take part,” she said.

HealthLAB manager Nicole Boyd said that since its inception in 2014, more than 5000 Territorians had experienced HealthLAB and learned how they could make healthier choices to help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension.

To help people keep track of their scores and measurements, the HealthLAB team launched an app for Apple devices – visit W: – earlier this year, which also provides messages of encouragement and healthy lifestyle tips.

For more information about Menzies’ HealthLAB, visit W: