General Health self-assessment

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Extract from ‘Fit From The King’

In the 21st century we are, as a nation, very ‘health conscious’. As our life expectancy has increased and our environment and health care has improved, we have come to expect more than to just live to a ‘good’ age – most of us expect to enjoy good health along the way. And ‘health’ is no longer just the absence of illness – the Collins dictionary defines health as ‘the state of being bodily and mentally vigorous and free from disease’. So free from disease, yes, but so much more – health is the presence of a vigorous body and mind also, and if we are Christians then health includes a healthy relationship with our God.

But not all of us enjoy such radiant health – in this broken world, many of us know disease and disability only too well and each day can be a real challenge; however, even in difficult circumstances there are often things we can still do to improve our health. So where to begin……
Below are some questions that should enable you to think about how healthy your lifestyle currently is. It covers the main areas of our lives that we can make choices about in order to live healthier lives but does not go into any areas in great depth; it is intended to be an overall guide to your health, not a detailed analysis. It is best to answer honestly – remember that every person doing this assessment will have areas in their lifestyle that they can improve on, so you are not alone! After completing each section please add up your score and then refer to the relevant advice below. Those questions relating to nutrition and physical exercise will be re-visited in greater detail in subsequent studies.


A) A healthy diet?
1. How many servings of fruit and vegetables do you eat per day?
1-2 score 0
2-3 score 1
4-5 score 2
5+ score 3
Fruit and vegetables form the basis of a healthy diet, and ideally should be eaten at every meal. Current UK guidelines recommend 5-9 servings daily; most people do not manage that here in the UK, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are one of them!

2. How much water, or other beverages that are not fizzy and do not contain sweeteners or caffeine, do you drink per day?
None score 0
1-4 glasses score 1
4-7 glasses score 2
8+ glasses score 3
Keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of liquid throughout the day is associated with many health benefits and increased energy levels; it is generally recommended that we should drink 2 litres, which is 8 glasses per day.

3. How often do you eat sugary ‘treat’ foods?
A few times a day score 0
Once a day score 1
A few days per week score 2
Once a week or less score 3
Refined sugar is one of the components of the Western diet that is making us ill. Consuming sugary treats is fine occasionally and does no harm, while eating chocolate/cakes/biscuits frequently can make us tired and irritable, and increase our waistlines too!

4. Do you think about the fat content of your food when deciding what to eat?
Never score 0
Sometimes score 1
Often score 2
Always score 3
There are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats in our diet but a diet that is high in fat overall is associated with numerous health problems. A diet with moderate amounts of ‘good’ fats from oily fish, olive oil etc is considered healthy.

5. How often do you buy pre-packaged food instead of making meals and snacks yourself?
Every day score 0
Some days score 1
Occasionally score 2
Never score 3
Processed meals tend to contain high levels of salt, sugar and ‘bad’ fat and can increase our risk of many illnesses if consumed too frequently.

6. Are you a healthy weight?
What is your body mass index? (Please refer to the chart provided if you are not sure)
Either under 19 or over 30 score 0
25-30 score 1
23-24 score 2
19-22 score 3
Body mass index is a rough guide to weight and it is possible to have a high BMI and be healthy; conversely it is possible to have a normal BMI and be unhealthy. For most people a BMI of 19-25 is a healthy weight, however even a BMI of 23-24 is associated with some health risks including an increased risk of diabetes compared with a lower BMI

7. What size trousers do you buy?
20+ score 0
16-18 score 1
12-14 score 2
10 or less score 3
42in+ score 0
40in score 1
36-38in score 2
34in or less score 3
The size of trousers we buy is an indication of our waist circumference, and this reflects where our body is storing fat. A small waist suggests that fat is being stored around the hips and thighs, which is the safest place.


B) Physical Fitness
8. How much exercise do you get?
Do you lead an active lifestyle on a day to day basis – walk/cycle rather than drive, use the stairs rather than the lift, get off the bus a stop early and walk?
Never score 0
Sometimes score 1
Often score 2
Most of the time score 3

9. How often do you exercise for 30 minutes at an intensity where you are working up a sweat but still able to hold a conversation?
Never score 0
Once a week score 1
3 times a week score 2
5 times a week or more score 3
Getting regular exercise and being generally active is a great way of maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels, improving sleep and reducing our risk of heart disease, various cancers and many other health issues. Current recommendations are that we should exercise for 30minutes at least 5 days per week.


C) Other consumables
10. Do you smoke?
Yes score 0
No score 3

11. How many units of alcohol do you drink per week?
(A unit of alcohol is a small glass of wine, a pub measure of spirits or half a pint of average strength beer/lager)
Women Men
14+ 21+ score 0
10-13 14-20 score 1
6-9 7-13 score 2
0-5 0-6 score 3


12. Do you use any other non-prescription drugs for recreational purposes?
Yes score 0
No score 3
All recreational drugs have associated health risks; obviously we would advise you to avoid illegal drug use! Alcohol in MODERATE quantities does have some health benefits, current advice is to consume no more than 14 units per week for women and 21 for men with at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

D) Your mental health
13. Do you feel stressed, depressed or anxious?
Every day score 0
Most days score 1
Some days score 2
Hardly ever score 3
If you suffer with anxiety or depression then this can affect your physical health too – with the right help around you from your church, counsellor or doctor you should be able to overcome these issues, so don’t give up!

14. Do you get enough relaxation?
How many hours of sleep do you get, on average, per night?
3 or less score 0
4-5 score 1
6-7 score 2
8+ score 3
Getting enough sleep is important for so many aspects of health and wellbeing. Very few of us manage 8 hours per night.

15) Do you find time to relax and do something you enjoy just for the fun of doing it?
Rarely score 0
Sometimes score 1
A few times a week score 2
Most days score 3
In our hectic, high pressure Western world, we often forget to take time out to do things just for fun! Building some time, however short, into each day to do this makes us happier, healthier and more productive and is an important part of a balanced life.

Your results:
Score 0-15
Your results would suggest that making healthy lifestyle choices has not been particularly high on your agenda recently. There are a number of reasons why this can happen – maybe you feel great as you are and see no reason to change, or maybe other things in your life are taking your attention at the moment; these can be good things like a worthwhile job or caring for a family, or difficult things like stress, debt or poor physical health. Whatever your current situation, if you decide to form healthy habits now then you will see great benefits in the future – even if you feel fine now, that may not last!

Score 16-30
You make a lot of good choices when it comes to achieving or maintaining good health, and while there is still some room for improvement your lifestyle is one that should give you good health overall. It is likely that this questionnaire has identified one or two areas that you now want to improve; please use this as motivation to form new habits – and make sure they are habits you will enjoy!

Score 31-45
So you’re living a pretty healthy lifestyle already! At Fit for Life Forever, we hope that this enables you to enjoy a truly abundant life and a great sense of energy and wellbeing; if you continue with your efforts then this gives you the greatest chance of a long, healthy life. Make sure that you do not become legalistic and rigid about your lifestyle, or make too many rules for yourself – and do break the ones that you do have once in a while!


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