Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Biometric Screening

Each year my company gives me $25 dollars off my monthly insurance premium if I am willing to do their biometric screen program. They do not see the results of the test. The information is handled by a third party so only the third party company and I see the results.  This year they added something new. They asked me to sign an affidavit stating that I had not used any tobacco products in the last six months.

I have never used tobacco products so signing does not pose an issue for me. As for the screening program, it takes maybe 15 minutes to complete and I get to keep $300 dollars per year in my pay check. When I think about it, this is almost two pairs of running shoes. It is definitely worth the time.

However, I am not here to talk about the program itself. I am more interested in the results.

Weight – okay fully dressed, I topped out at 151 pounds which is pretty much in line with my weight checks on the Y’s scales.

My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 21.1. This drops me squarely in the normal range which is from 18.5 to 24.9.

What is BMI? Well, BMI is a measure of the human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height. The theory states that it allows physicians to discuss thickness or thinness in a more objective matter.

Like I said, 21.1 dropped me squarely in the normal range so I can only assume that I am good here.

My Cholesterol level was 150. 150 drops me in the “Desireable” range which is anything less than 200 mg/dL. Last year, if I remember correctly, my level was 147 so my diet must be pretty decent.

My HDL number was 56. Between 40 and 59 is average and 60 is excellent. Remember, HDL is the good cholesterol so the higher the number the better.

My TC/HDL Ratio was 2.7. This is used as an indicator for the risk of coronary artery disease. Any thing below 3.6 is considered low risk.

Next up is my glucose level. My value was 71 which is at the bottom half of the “normal” range. Below 70 mg/dL is considered “Low”.  This was based on 14 hours of “fasting”.  To a runner, “fasting” is not fun. I was plenty hungry.

My blood pressure was pretty much on the norm – 120 over 80.

They even measured my waist which was 31 – outside my clothes.

Possibly, the one stat that bothered me the most was the body fat measure. According, their measuring device I have a body fat of 16%. They measured it using an electronic device. Apparently, when I hold the handles to the device a weak signal is passed from one handle around through my body to the other handle. The speed at which the signal reaches the other handle is used to determine my body fat composition. The assumption being that the signal travels faster through lean muscle tissue.

Apparently, there are some things that throw off this reading such as exercising within 3 hours, sleeping within 3 hours, eating or drinking within 3 hours – including water.

Based on their scale, my 16% falls right in the middle of the 40-59 year old men which is from 11% to 21%. Maybe what got me the most was looking at the scale and seeing they listed “athletes” with a range of 6% to 13%. My 16% did not qualify me.

Maybe I will work on getting my body fat composition down to 13% by next year’s biometric screening.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


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