What is your BioAge and what it means?
For users to understand how their exercise is positively impacting their fitness and health, it’s crucial to make progress visible to make it easy to stay motivated. The EGYM BioAge is a comprehensive fitness and health indicator taking into account a breadth of user measurements that are converted into an easy-to-understand BioAge that can be compared to a member's physical age.
Why does the BioAge exist?
EGYM’s ambition as a global digital fitness technology is to make the gym work for everyone.
Everybody knows that physical workout has a positive impact on health. Nobody knows to what extent. The biggest challenge is to guide gym members targeted to their thoughts: How can I motivate myself to work out regularly? What is my health status quo? What is the best way to get fit? How do I see the positive impact on my health and to be on track?
This is where our approach with the EGYM BioAge comes into play. It provides:
Sophisticated assessments based on scientific findings of the current health status of a member
Structured and target-oriented individual training guidance
Tracking and visualization of the positive impact of exercise on health
Other elements of our approach complement the EGYM BioAge as a comprehensive health and fitness indicator. For example, our Activity Points and Activity Levels help reward members for being active even before changes in health and fitness are measurable and build a healthy habit of exercising regularly.
What does the EGYM BioAge mean?
To calculate the BioAge, EGYM uses a sophisticated analysis of various scientifically proven factors that have a direct relation to indicate the physical performance, health, and immune system status - that’s why we also call it a holistic approach. Simultaneously, EGYM has the unique proposition of having access to a massive data pool for reference. It, therefore, provides a highly reliable benchmarked calculation with a million data points collected over many years. This also enables EGYM to optimize the calculation further and make it even more precise, always intending to support trainers and members in achieving fitness and health goals together.
The EGYM BioAge combines a variety of measures and health parameters, which are categorized into three areas:
How does the value of the BioAge come about?
The BioAge shows how members perform in comparison to the typical average values of their real age group. For example, the strength value, the output achieved on an EGYM Smart Strength machine, is compared with the available data of different age groups.
This can also be described in this way: If, for example, a 50-year-old member achieves a performance that corresponds to the average of all 45-year-olds, this results in a younger biological age - 45 years. Conversely, of course, the same is true: a poorly trained 30-year-old who only achieves the average maximum power output of all 40-year-olds in comparison is correspondingly biologically already 40 years old.
How does the BioAge impact Health?
The Strength Value sets the user’s body weight in relation to his strength.
Strength is the foundation of a person to perform mechanical work, to exert forces and torques. A loss of muscle mass and strength can cause various metabolic and cardiovascular problems, like decreased bone density, fat gain, and diabetes (Westcott, 2012). Furthermore, the impact of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) is a widespread problem in modern populations that can be effectively delayed with resistance training (Morley et al., 2011). Strong muscles also function as an endocrine organ that produces protective myokines that rejuvenate the immune system (Nieman and Wentz, 2019).
The Metabolism Value gives further insight into the health status by relating weight, fat, and height. It is calculated by the Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Composition, and Waist-Hip-Ratio (WHR). BMI is a very popular, easy-to-calculate health indicator. An excellent metabolic status is also an indicator of a well functioning immune system (de Heredia et al., 2003). Being combined with body-fat-percentage and waist-to-hip-ratio, it specifies the prediction level for the user`s metabolism significantly.
The body fat percentage relates the body fat to the total body mass. A body fat percentage within the normal range is the main contributor to prevent metabolic syndrome (Zhu et al., 2003). Additionally, it is associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower the incidence risk for cancer (Britton et al., 2013 and De Koning, 2007).
The Waist-to-Hip Ratio as an estimation for abdominal fat distribution is associated with cardiovascular diseases and events. (De Koning et al., 2007). An even better prediction is concluded when the measurement results can be combined with BMI measurement, like for the EGYM BioAge (WHO, 2011). The Waist to Hip Ratio is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference.
A BMI factor within the proposed norm range is related to reduced risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and all-cause mortality (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). The BMI is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m²).
The Cardio (Cardiovascular) Value combines the Resting Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and the VO2max. It gives an overview of cardiovascular capacity, performance, and health. A healthy cardiovascular system is also connected to a strong immune system (Kullo et al., 2007). These methods are used in general in medical practice to determine the state of health.
The VO2max is the most precise measure of cardiovascular fitness and is widely used for assessing the status of athletes. A higher VO2max comes with a greater body ability to transfer and consume oxygen (Hawley,1992).
A high Blood Pressure can indicate underlying diseases and may have long-term effects like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failures. (Williams, 2018; Frese, 2011).
A low Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is a good indicator of cardiovascular fitness (Silva, 2018). Therefore lower RHR values predict a lowered risk for coronary heart diseases, myocardial events, and general cardiovascular disease mortality (Fox et al., 2007).