Best way to measure health/wellness

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vexed87
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by vexed87 »

black_son_of_gray wrote:To me, it seems prudent to define health/wellness as the absence of illness, disease, or disorder. So in that sense, you can't really be more healthy than 'just healthy'.
This.

To get the answers you seek, you need to tailor your questions.

Health & well being is too broad a concept to measure with a single set of metrics. Cardiovascular fitness on the other hand could be measured with some pretty specific metrics.

You need to breakdown what you consider health/wellness is comprised of and measure them independently.

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Ego
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Ego »

black_son_of_gray wrote:
To me, it seems prudent to define health/wellness as the absence of illness, disease, or disorder. So in that sense, you can't really be more healthy than 'just healthy'. From this perspective, Jacob's questions are useful as they would indicate possible illness, disease, or disorder.
While I understand how this way of thinking comes about, it is a result of the medicalization of health.

Great is not the same as not bad. Being happy and fulfilled is different from not being sad or depressed. Being healthy and vigorous is different from not being ill.

It appears that mindset is the extra je ne sais quoi that takes us from not bad to great. When we frame health as the absence of disease we fence ourselves from ideas that are health promoting. By primarily striving to eliminate the symptoms of illness we fail to adopt those things that promote the symptoms of well-being.

This is one of the reasons I don't particularly like measures of health that involve someone in a white coat.

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jennypenny
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jennypenny »

Ego wrote:This is one of the reasons I don't particularly like measures of health that involve someone in a white coat.
Couldn't agree more. I don't care how good (or bad) someone looks on paper. Functionality is what matters. If your physical or mental health is keeping you from something you want or need to do, you need to get healthier.

I've had a lot more success after adjusting my goals to meet that standard. It's why I'm learning to embrace things like CBT and yoga, and let go of more easily measured activities and treatments that produce 'results' that don't mean much in the real world.

jacob
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jacob »

Or perhaps ... be less scientific and more phenomonelogical about it?

Look at the healthy outliers that you know/are aware of.

Then do what they do. Adopt their behavior.

PS: This is not an inherently good strategy because being uninformed means getting be tripped by unknown-unknown issues. You'd have to have a rather superior understanding of causation to actually apply this. So, mostly useful for health-nuts. IOW, you need to understand WHY they're actually doing better than you. Then make your choice.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Jacob said: Look at the healthy outliers that you know/are aware of.

Then do what they do. Adopt their behavior.
I think this is a fantastic piece of advice. Hit me like a bolt of lightning that I do not know or have not recently met any women my age who are healthier than me in real life and that is likely why I am not motivated towards improvement. I am kind of competitive, so the fact that I do know men my age who are stronger than me has got me halfway motivated towards putting on some more muscle, but my Midwestern female peers are all either totally out-of-shape or suffering from some fake thyroid disorder and drinking too much or had some kind of cancer two years ago or something like that. The much older women I know who seem to be in relatively good shape tend towards yoga, gardening, some minor self-indulgence in terms of drinks and treats, and a positive adventurous outlook, like Maude in "Harold and Maude." I think having something to look forward to is what keeps people motivated to stay healthy enough to get there.

almostthere
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by almostthere »

In answer to the original question, one test that you can do yourself is the one mile cardio endurance test. Here is one webpage with an overview:
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fit ... 496&page=2

jacob
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jacob »

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3080184/

For geriatrics it may be as simple as walking speed.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

That one mile walking speed test seems way too easy. I currently have phlegm in my lungs from a virus, and I still clocked 12:40 which puts me well within the excellent range for 20-29 year old women. So, maybe I am the 50 year old outlier that others should follow (lol.) Come now my ducklings, chop-chop to the Polish Bakery, the faster we walk ,the more babka we can eat.

George the original one
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by George the original one »

The one-mile test, though, doesn't account for longer & shorter strides. In other words, your height gives you an advantage.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I'm not sure if height makes much of a difference, because when I try to walk fast I shorten my stride and increase my frequency. I also attempted to engage my gluteal muscles, but I'm not sure if that helped or hindered my speed. Anyways, I am average height for a man and my results would still put me in the excellent category for men up to 10 years younger than me. I would think that once you got beyond 11: 54 then you would have to see how far you could go keeping up that pace. I walk at a fairly fast pace every day because that's my transportation and sometimes I am running late, so it might be that I am more conditioned for this particular activity than others. I know that I can walk or hike for 6 or 8 hours and keep up with a fit man who is 4 or 5 inches taller than me. OTOH, I can't do even one chin-up or proper form push-up.

jacob
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jacob »

George the original one wrote:The one-mile test, though, doesn't account for longer & shorter strides. In other words, your height gives you an advantage.
It's not that simple. Longer legs does mean a longer stride, but a longer stride also means a lower step rate for the same effort. IOW, height determines your max speed but walking faster requires more power regardless of leg length.

Analogously, a car does not automatically speed up because you put larger diameter wheels on it insofar the engine output is kept constant.

Chad
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Chad »

If longer legs was one of the main variables NBA players would also be star Olympians in long distance events.

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jennypenny
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jennypenny »

Distance is different than speed, though. An NBA player is probably faster at walking a mile than most mere mortals on average, even if they can't keep the pace up for a longer distance.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Find your phenotype then pick your sport.

http://www.boredpanda.com/athlete-body- ... rd-schatz/


Walking test that includes pulse rate:

http://www.whyiexercise.com/rockport-walking-test.html

Run, swim and cycle tests:

http://www.texasarchery.org/JOAD/FitnessTestJrUSAT.htm

Push-up test:

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/PushUps.html

I'm going to try to do the swim test this evening.
Last edited by 7Wannabe5 on Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chad
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Chad »

Distance and speed are different, but long legs are not one of the main variables in being good at either.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/healt ... .html?_r=0

akratic
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by akratic »

To answer the original question, what I would like to see is blood work taken out of the hospital and into the modern web/mobile app world -- thus made affordable and accessible.

You can already turn a smart phone into a microscope: example here. That just needs to be comboed with an app that sends the data off somewhere to be analyzed and returned and then explained lucidly. If the microscope thing wouldn't work then some kind of external dongle.

I think the bigger hurdle to implementing something like that is on the regulatory/medical side than the technical side at this point. I'd be excited to see it done well -- it'd be fun to vary my diet and see the results in my blood and try to optimize each one.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Chad: Interesting article. I was going to switch over from water aerobics/swimming to weight-training for the winter, but based on the results of this thread, I am going to stick with the swimming even though I don't like walking after dark in the cold with my hair wet. The three men over the age of 50 I have dated who were in the best overall shape (negative paunch to positive shoulder ratio, better biking speed up hills,similar hiking endurance compared to me, sturdy indestructible sexual performance) were 6' 5" 220 lbs.(500 push-ups a day), 6'2" 210? lbs (rows), and 5'9" 170 lbs(played hockey and skated off season.) The first two attended college on football scholarships, so I think if you were somebody who was built to play football in high school then rowing would be a very good choice for regaining or maintaining fitness at midlife.

JasonR
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by JasonR »

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Right. Improvement in longevity due to marriage can be exactly correlated and explained with actual causation which is sexual frequency. Makes total sense for species survival that if you don't use it then you die sooner. Like how you have to keep picking the green beans if you want more green beans rather than a withered vine.

bryan
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by bryan »

Chad wrote:Distance and speed are different
In an not sure I follow. See: distance = (speed * time)


By the way, have any of you been involved with sports/exercise at at least a collegiate level? Curious.

My fitness test of choice would be a time trial on a rowing machine. 2k or 5k. Though you have to compare yourself to your weight class.
Last edited by bryan on Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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