Know Your Numbers


Here at NIH, regardless of our specific job, we work in an environment based on research and data.  It turns out that knowing data about our own bodies and health – our own numbers – is a key factor in becoming and staying healthy.

Some numbers are obvious and we know well.  Age? Check. Height? Check.  Weight?  Check.  Other numbers are also very important.  Do you know your blood pressure? Waist measurement? Cholesterol levels?  How many stairs you can walk up before feeling out of breath?

 Below is information you can determine yourself or ask your doctor about.  Know your numbers – Your wellness is worth it!

​Handy Do-it-Yourself

Small, small changes can lead to big wellness rewards. Try recording your numbers for one or more of these, even for just a week or two:

  • Sitting for long periods negatively affects health. How many times have I gotten up from my desk in the past hour, even for a couple of minutes?
  • How many stairs can I walk before getting winded? Can I build up more?
  • How many fruits and veggies have I eaten so far today? 
  • How many hours of sleep did I get last night? Was it enough?

Use your own informal method to track these numbers.  The Make a Plan page can also provide some templates. 

Weight and Waist
Your individual “healthy weight” depends on several factors, including age, height, and health history. Some measurements can help you know where you stand.
There’s also extensive information on this web site about nutrition and fitness, which are both arenas of your life that you can control to a great extent.
Increased wellness vs. increased risk of illness? A healthy weight can “tip those scales” in your favor.
​Tracking Progress Numbers
Progress! We all want to see success, including for improving our health. There are tools to help:
  • On this web site, you can also find suggestions to help you Make a Plan tailored to your specific goals.
​Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure helps to protect your heart, kidneys, and brain. High blood pressure has no symptoms. It makes sense to know your blood pressure numbers! 
  • Ask your doctor about your blood pressuare numbers.
  • For quick checks, blood pressure measuring machines are located in Building 31, 10 and on campus.
  • Learn about blood pressure here.
​Cholesterol Levels
More numbers to help you stay well: Ask your doctor about your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Regardless of your age, there’s a clear explanation of “good” and “bad” cholesterol here.
  • More detailed information is here and here.
  • See Employee Services for on-campus cholesterol testing, and the Nutrition tab for tips on healthy eating (including at work).