Health Numbers

5 Health Numbers You should know!

Body Mass Index calculator
Enter your weight and height into the calculator to get your BMI.

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Body Mass Index: kg/m2
  1.   Weight – being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, cancer, and gout (a condition where your metabolism is affected and you have pain or swelling in your joints, which can lead to arthritis). If you monitor your weight on a monthly basis, it’ll be easier to keep it down, as you can help to prevent it increasing too fast before you notice. You should also measure your BMI – using our calculator above – BMI stands for Body Mass Index. Your BMI should sit within the 18.5-25 range, ideally. Anything above 25 means that you should consider losing weight to avoid health problems further down the line. Anything under 18.5 would mean you are too skinny, which can also lead to health problems!These are very important health numbers to understand. If you’re a body builder or athlete, you’re likely to have a greater level of muscle than the average person, so your BMI could be higher because muscle is heavier than fat. However, if you don’t do any exercise at all, and your BMI is above 25, then you should consider doing some light exercise, to start with. Healthy body, healthy mind!
  2.   Waist size – in the olden days, a large waistline was a sign of wealth! And in some cases today, it still is!! However, if you’re waist size is too large then the risk of dying early is apparently nearly doubled! If you’re a woman and your waist size is over 35 inches, or you’re a man and your waist size is over 40 inches, then you will be at an increased risk of suffering from diabetes and heart disease, both of which would lead to a shortened life.
  3.  Cholesterol – If your cholesterol is too high, you could get a heart attack! There are two types of cholesterol. HDL and LDL. HDL is the “good cholesterol” and should be 50 or higher. LDL is the “bad cholesterol” and should be under 100. If the total number (the sum of both types) is too high, the arteries around your heart could clog up with fat and, as well as a heart attack, you could also suffer from a stroke (where your body could be paralysed on one side)! *HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and LDL stands for low density lipoprotein – lipoproteins are proteins that transport fat in your blood. Eating high quantities of dairy products (cheese, cream, eggs (the yolk), as well as other foods high in saturated fats, such as meat and sausages, can lead to high levels of cholesterol.
  4.  Fasting Blood sugar – your fasting blood sugar level highlights your risk for getting diabetes. Although diabetes is primarily caused by having too much sugar, it can actually lead to blindness, kidney failure, nerve problems as well as a weakened immune system. When you blood is tested for your FBS (fasting blood sugar level), you’ll be required to fast for at least 9 hours. Best way to do this is to book an appointment that’s at 9am in the morning, and don’t eat anything after midnight the day before (assuming it will take an hour to get to where you’re going in the morning). The reason for the fast is that if you consume something within the 8 hour window, such as a can of Coke, it would raise your blood sugar levels and lead to a false reading. Your FBS can measured with a simple blood test, such as a finger prick test. A reading above 100 is considered pre-diabetic and you’d need to discuss treatment with a physician.
  5.  Blood pressure – if unchecked, blood pressure can rise to dangerous levels. High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where blood pressure remains abnormally high. If your blood pressure reading over a few weeks in consistently 140/90, then you would have high blood pressure.


The first (top) number is your systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure when your heart beats and blood is simultaneously moved around your body) and the second (bottom) number is your diastolic blood pressure (the lowest pressure when your hear relaxes between heartbeats).