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Calculate your way to health

Nowadays, you will find calculators for anything. Not just for simple maths to keep your bills in check, but for just about anything you can think of. You could for instance input some data into an app and calculate the distance from where you are standing to the moon. Or if worried about the atmosphere, you could easily calculate the day’s humidity, or the amount of gravitational force weighing onto your head. Well, calculating various parameters about your health is also at your fingertips.

Health calculators are freely available on many platforms. You will find many apps that can easily be downloaded onto your phone, tablet or wearable health gadgets. Many health-related websites will have calculators that are free to use. Your doctors’ offices, or other health facilities, are also likely to have health calculators that you could use to measure some health metrics as you wait your turn.

The commonly used health calculators are related to weight. You can calculate your body mass index (BMI for short), amount of calories burned during a work-out, or calories ingested with certain meals. You can also calculate how much of your body is actually fat, how much you need to eat daily to maintain health, how much alcohol gets into your blood during a drinking spell, or how much activity is needed to raise your heart rate to a certain level. For those on certain meds, there are calculators to guide on dosages. Other calculators will gauge your risk for certain cancers. Women will know too well about ovulation and pregnancy calculators. You will also find calculators to track children’s health.

There are obviously some benefits in being aware of your health metrics. Whatever metrics you want to measure, you will find a handy calculator. Just input key words on your web browser, and a handy app will pop up. If you find yourself on the yellow or red zones of whatever you have calculated, you will find additional advice. Or you will instinctively know what to do. No use calculating various health indices just for fun, it’s better to link the figures you get with some healthy actions.

But beware that clocking nice numbers with your health calculators does not necessarily equate to good health. Your overall health status is an interplay of many variables, and scoring best in self-calculated parameters is only part of the health equation. You will still need the odd clinical assessment and routine physical screening for certain diseases, to further quantify your individual risks. Even though complex medical algorithms can display almost anything in numbers, you can never completely walk away from a reasoned interpretation by a skilled physician.

Get yourself a booster when your health calcs remain steady in the green zones. And kick yourself up if on the red zones. But remember it’s not all just about the numbers.


Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist.amurage@mygyno.co.ke

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Nowadays, you will find calculators for anything. Not just for simple maths to keep your bills in check, but for just about anything you can think of. You could for instance input some data into an app and calculate the distance from where you are standing to the moon. Or if worried about the atmosphere, you could easily calculate the day’s humidity, or the amount of gravitational force weighing onto your head. Well, calculating various parameters about your health is also at your fingertips.

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