Two recent deaths of people close to my family due to heart disease brought back fond memories of childhood and early youth years of not so distant past forcing me to reflect on what could possibly have gone wrong, besides bitter acceptance of death as the ultimate undisputed spiritual truth of life beyond our human control. Perhaps the only solution to somewhat extinguish grief associated with untimely death of family member or friend lies in planning ahead positively with better knowledge and hope so that we can make efforts to reverse unhealthy trends in our modern gadgets based smart living within the scope of limited resources.
Body Health Insolvency is like Money Insolvency in Business
The Term Insolvency in business is used to describe an artificial entity (Company/Trust/Partnership/) financial situation as being no longer viable to trade, driven by a wide complex combination of factors such as sudden changes in the entity’s industry, loss of major clients, unexpected and unanticipated adverse events etc. Whereas it is quite common these days to see relevantly qualified and professionally advised businesses successfully turnaround to commercial viability after a short period of highly downsized and scaled back operations advised by Accountants, the Job Description to target Health Insolvency is far more complex outside the domain of Accounting Industry. When it comes to self-managing personal health insolvency, which in my experience is a mental condition reminding our informed brains of serious limitations in living a happy fulfilling life, the Balanced Health Scorecard key performance indicators (KPIs) are far more complex, dynamic and demanding requiring careful planning, implementation and control to sustain successful results over a fairly long period of time and share knowledge.
Health Numbers at a Glance to measure possible health insolvency disaster
There is no universal consensus which can guarantee perfect body health based on statistical numbers founded on scientific evidence because no such thing ever existed in the first place. Countless examples of rich celebrities with perfect human bodies have been known to suffer from poor mental health and sleep deprivation which is almost unknown to people involved in daily manual work, gymnasium addicts and those with limited resources requiring strenuous body movements.
Glossy pictures of ultra-health conscious people, gymnasium addicts, fitness gurus and strongly built trades people do create moments of personal dissatisfaction in our minds but slowly fade away once we begin to accept our bodies as completely unique and different albeit without losing sight of some crucial health numbers given below. What works for one individual may not work for the other is an absolute truth of life and therefore we must measure ourselves on a lenient scale of health numbers at the commencement of new self-health plan progressively raising our standards of measurements and deviation from wide range of benchmarks to deliver sustainable long-term results.
One aspect of turning around the unacceptable personal health insolvency body condition is to compare one period of our personal health numbers with another, understand the positive and negative deviations or variances and further raise or maintain our health targets. Medical tests are helpful and regular checks will give additional peace of mind than just health statistical numbers in isolation especially when confronted with self-doubt. One aspect of health insolvency management taken from Accounting principles is an almost universally accepted truth of life- “What gets Measured Will Eventually get Managed”.
Given below are some popularly used statistical numbers used by medical experts across the world to measure human body health freely available on most smart phones health app. All statistical numbers given below apply to adults over 21 years of age when most of the hormonal changes in the body are beginning to settle down.
- Waist Circumference Ranges (Easy to Use)
As per United States Navy standards this needs to be measured through the circumference of one’s waist at a horizontal level around the navel for men, and at the level with the least width for women without pulling your stomach in.
Healthy Men – Less than 94 Cm (37 Inches)
Healthy Women- Less than 80 Cm (31.5 Inches)
Overweight Men- 94 Cm to 102 Cm (37-40 Inches)
Overweight Women- 80 Cm to 88 Cm (31.5-34.6 Inches)
Obese Men- Greater than 102 Cm (40 Inches)
Obese Women- Greater than 88 Cm (34.5 Inches)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) Range
Some Contradicting medical theories tend to avoid this measure because of over emphasis on body weight. Athletic and Muscular bodies tend to weigh more and therefore it is advisable to use a combination of Waist and BMI to broadly estimate unhealthy body fat content.
The Body Mass Index Measures Weight (kilograms) / (Height in Meters)2
Body Mass index takes a person’s weight in kilograms and divides it by his/her height in Meters squared to a factor of two.
For Example, a Man with Weight 78 Kilograms and a height of 1.79 Meters (5 Feet 11 Inches) will have a Body Mass Index factor of 24.8. Different BMI readings may be interpreted as follows:
Over 40 BMI ~Severely Obese
35-40 BMI ~ Severely Obese
30-35 BMI ~ Obese
25-30 BMI ~ Overweight
18.5 to 25 ~ Healthy
17 to 18.5 ~ Underweight
Under 17 ~ Extremely Underweight
- Body Fat Percentage Measure
Specific techniques and measurements are used to measure the presence of Body Fat and easily accessible through a wide range of Bluetooth enabled smart devices. There are significant differences in the way Men and Women accumulate body fat and therefore different measurements are required to estimate level of body fat. The table given below classifies different body types based on percentage of body fat measured.
Essential Fat (2%-5%)
Obese (Over 25%)
Essential Fat (12%-15%)
Obese (Over 32%)
- Heart Rate Measurements
Resting heart rate refers to the heart rate measured when we are awake, calm, comfortable, and have not recently exerted ourselves. Fitbit tracker for instance estimates resting heart rate by measuring heart rate when we are asleep and while we are awake, but still during the day. A lower resting heart rate subject to medical advice where applicable usually indicates better quality of fitness achieved through regular physical activities. Statistical age based view of resting heart rate for athletic men and women is given below
Fit Athlete Age Vs Resting Heart Rate (Men)
Age:18-25 Resting Heart Rate: 49-55
Age:26-35 Resting Heart Rate: 49-54
Age:36-45 Resting Heart Rate: 50-56
Age:46-55 Resting Heart Rate: 50-57
Age: 65+ Resting Heart Rate: 50-55
Fit Athlete Age Vs Resting Heart Rate (Women)
Age:18-25 Resting Heart Rate: 54-60
Age:26-35 Resting Heart Rate: 54-59
Age:36-45 Resting Heart Rate: 54-59
Age:46-55 Resting Heart Rate: 54-60
Age: 65+ Resting Heart Rate: 54-59
- Blood Pressure (BP) Measurements
BP indicates how hard the heart is working to pump blood throughout the body. Modern Smart devices can record BP measurements using wireless Bluetooth so that users are able to measure fitness trends over a period and make informed choices. Different colour coding scheme on smart device screens mean that users have easy to understand graphic view of the BP trends over extensive periods of time with minimum assistance from medical professionals for simple routine checks. My Smart Phone Health App defines Blood Pressure as the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. It includes two measurements. “Systolic”-blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood and “Diastolic”- when the heart is at rest between beats. BP numbers are usually indicated with the systolic number before the diastolic number. Range of BP numbers indicating different conditions of the heart is as follows:
Hypertension Stage-1 (160/100)
Hypertension Stage-2 (160+/100+)
- Blood Sugar Measurements
Fasting Plasma Glucose
It measures glucose in blood after 8-10 hours of fast. It provides the lowest glucose reading in blood and is likely to be below 5.5 Millimoles per Litre for non-Diabetics (Australia, New Zealand and Canada) Measure of Milligrams per Decilitres used in other countries is obtained by multiplying Millimoles per litre reading with a factor of 18 indicating a cut off range of 99 milligrams per Decilitres for Non-Diabetics.
Random Plasma Glucose Numbers– A Measure of Glucose in Blood at any time including after eating.
Blog Readers suffering from Type-1 or Type-2 Diabetes are advised to purchase an electronic book on Diabetes by qualified authors or well acclaimed dietitians or publication houses such as Readers Digest easily accessible online to gain a comprehensive understanding of Blood Sugar and its impact on body’s chemical processes. Self-monitoring tells us a lot about how the blood glucose is being controlled, but it does not give the entire picture. Each random glucose reading through modern gadgets is a snapshot that shows the blood glucose at that moment which could be different in ten minutes.
- Cholesterol & Other Health Numbers to Know
Ideal Blood Sugar Before Eating: 4 to 6 mmol/L (72 to 108 Mg/DL)
Ideal Blood Glucose at Bed Time: 7 mmol / L (126 Mg/DL)
Blood Glucose that Indicates hypoglycaemia: 3.5 mmol / L or Lower (63 Mg/DL or Lower)
Blood Glucose that merits a Ketone test: 15 mmol / L or Higher (270 Mg/DL or Higher)
*HbA1c Target 7% or Lower
Low-risk LDL(BAD) Cholesterol 2.5 mmol/L or Lower (45 Mg/DL or Lower)
Low-risk HDL Cholesterol 1.0 mmol/L or Higher (18 Mg/DL or Higher)
Low-risk Triglycerides Less than 2.0 mmol/L (36 Mg/DL or Lower)
(Average blood-glucose over 2-3months also known as glycosylated haemoglobin test):
- The Magic of 10,000 Steps a Day or 5 Miles or 8 Kilometres
“10,000 steps a day (5 Miles or 8 Kilometre) is a rough equivalent to the Surgeon General’s recommendation to accumulate 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. It should be enough to reduce risk for disease and help us lead a longer, healthier life. The benefits are many: lower waist size, increased energy, and less risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease.
Having an in-depth knowledge of the above mentioned eight broad parameters out of several other health parameters connected with our family history, genes, nutrition and exercise plan, it becomes easy to monitor and control unhealthy deviations using easy to implement troubleshooting strategies through a personalised mental roadmap. What gets measured will ultimately get managed.