IMAGE COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK
The majority of people who join a health club do so to improve their health, through weight loss, improved muscle tone or better cardiovascular/respiratory function. Health club members depend on the information employees provide to set goals, address health problems and determine strategies. Unfortunately, too many health club staffers are unaware of three key factors for assessing wellness and health risks.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) is not an effective measure of good health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Body mass index has been shown to be an imprecise measurement of fat-free and fat mass and provides no information if weight changes occur as a result of a decrease in fat-free mass or an increase in fat mass.” Only a Body Shape Rating (BSR), which is a wellness score based on the relationship of body shape to cardiovascular-related risk factors, is a reliable and accurate representation of improving health, particularly as it relates to weight loss and improving muscle strength. A BSR can only be generated by a 3D body surface scanner, which provides hundreds of measurements from head to toe, including joints, landmarks, circumferences, volumes, surface areas and contours.
- Different body types have different health risks. A 3D body surface scan will show precisely where fat is collecting on the body. The location is a more accurate indication of risk than BMI or body fat percentages. People that hold weight on the hips, waist, and thighs (“pears”) are prone to joint problems and metabolic syndrome. “Apples,” which gather weight above the waistline, are at greater risk for diabetes, strokes, and heart disease. And each body type necessitates different workout regimens.
- Good posture has many health benefits. Persistently poor posture — hunching over, rounded shoulders, and over-pronated feet — will cause body structure to change, which causes misalignment and pain. Over time it will reduce the efficiency with which a body moves and even aggravate health issues like acid reflux. It can also impair peristaltic movements, which push food through the intestines and cause sluggish digestion. Good posture, on the other hand, will not only alleviate and prevent pain, it will also help improve the efficiency of oxygen flow to the nervous system, organs, and other tissues. For example, according to Paleoleap.com, good “posture after eating has been found to help with everything from carbohydrate intolerance (e.g. FODMAPs intolerance) to IBS and bloating.” And according to sites like livescience.com and livestrong.com, good posture can also improve confidence, mood, cognition and memory. A formal or informal assessment of posture and posture coaching from health club staff could make a significant difference in the wellness of your clients.
Greg Moore is the CEO and a founder at Fit3D, a 3D body scanning technology and platform that allows coaches and clients to acquire and track body morphology over time. Learn more about Fit3D by calling (650) 275-3483 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.