Health status is a holistic concept that is determined by more than the presence or absence of any disease. It is often summarized by life expectancy or self-assessed health status, and more broadly includes measures of functioning, physical illness, and mental well being. 

A staggering 1 in 8 overweight Australians are in denial about their weight, believing they don’t need to make any healthy lifestyle changes. With the New Year upon us, there’s no time like the present to get yourself on track with a healthy diet and enough exercise to reverse the damage of unhealthy living. 

Take these easy measurements to find out if your health could do with a new resolution.

Body Max Index (BMI)

This measures your weight in relation to your height. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25. A BMI above this can mean an increased risk of weight-related diseases, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Find your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared.

Basal Metabolic Rate BMR)

BMR is the minimum caloric requirement needed to sustain life in an individual at complete rest. It is responsible for burning up to 70% of the total calories you expend each day.  Because the human body adapts to many things on an ongoing basis, this figure varies.  Calories are burned by bodily processes such as respiration, the pumping of blood around the body and maintenance of body temperature.  Keep in mind the body will burn more calories due to the activities of daily living (i.e. walking, talking, eating/digestion), not to mention any physical activity or exercise that you may include.

Biological age

An unhealthy lifestyle can leave your body thinking it’s a lot older than you actually are. Increasing numbers of young people in Australia are developing typically middle-aged diseases like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which some health experts are attributing to being overweight, doing little exercise and a poor diet. 

You can get your bio age checked at Fitness First and by some Naturopaths.

Waist measurements

All your vital organs are housed in your waist area, so any extra weight makes it harder for them to work properly. According the Australian Government, a waist measurement of less then 94 centimeters for men and 80 centimeters for women is healthy. Anything higher than this could indicate an increased risk of developing a chronic weight-related disease like type 2 diabetes.

Blood pressure

This indicates the pressure of blood against your artery walls. High blood pressure means they’re receiving too much pressure and can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

The Heart Foundation generally considers a normal blood pressure to be less than 120/80mmHg. The easiest way to measure yours is by making an appointment with your doctor.

Heart rate

A good indication of your fitness level is measuring your resting heart rate. For most people, that should be 60-100 beats per minute. Elite athletes will have a lower resting rate. A resting heart rate higher than 100 means your body is working harder to do its job and has been associated with high blood pressure and heart disease. 

You can take your own heart rate by placing your index and third fingers gently against your neck and counting your pulse for 15 seconds, then multiply that number by four.


Tripti Tambe

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