Batting average, on-base percentage, earned run average, runs batted in, assists, save percentage, receptions, rushing yards, consecutive games and other statistics are used to compare and track players in various sports. Can we evaluate our daily health in a similar way? And, who would be considered a leader in that statistic?
In baseball, if you fail 70% of the time, you are considered a good batter. Do we want to fail 70% of the time and be considered in good health? I think not. But, what should be measured?
The statistics accumulated for health should be relatively inexpensive and done in a timely manner. This should be something that can be done in conjunction with an annual physical. The tests should indicate pass or fail, even if the test result is barely outside the acceptable limits. For example, if the blood pressure standard used is 120/80 mm/Hg, then a reading of 122/82 mm/Hg would be a failure for that test – as would a 150/100 mm/Hg.
I would suggest the following tests as a minimum – blood pressure, inflammation (c-Reactive Protein), vitamin D3 (25-hydroxy vitamin D), homocysteine level (heart assessment), diabetes, and triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol) ratio.
If a pass/fail test were given for each test to assess health, then a score of 6.0 (six passing with zero failures) indicates great health. A 5.0 would indicate five passes and one failure. Probably still a good health assessment. It doesn’t account for that one measurement slightly over the limit.
I’m sure there are other meaningful health/wellness/medical tests that can be done quickly and cheaply. However, what other tests are indicative of good health? Then, the accumulate the statistics over time to indicate current levels and trends. If for the past five years the values averaged 5.0, then a quick look at the failed test(s) would be something for the doctor and patient to work on for the next year. If the initial value was 2.0 five years ago, and this year it is a 5.0, then it indicates attention to potential problem areas and successful action being taken. And, likewise for a declining trend. Missing an annual physical would be scored as a zero.
One or two measures could be done at home – healthy weight and blood pressure, for example. Take random readings throughout the month and report accordingly. Just my thoughts on quantifying health for comparative and improvement purposes.