Margin of Error: an extra amount of something, (e.g.,time, money, etc), that you allow because the outcome might be different than you planned.

Introducing Sustainable Health Index

I recently heard a lecture on the importance of living with a margin. The idea here is that we all have an absolute limit; a specific capacity beyond which our systems that support physical, mental, spiritual, financial, or work health fail. And we often stress our systems so close to that absolute limit, that there is no margin with which to enjoy life. In fact, that is where breakdown and disease occur, in a margin that is too narrow! 

This definition of margin really resonated with me, and while it certainly applies to many aspects of our lives, it has powerful relevance to health and well-being. In fact, I would go as far as to say that margin creates resilience, and resilience gives you the opportunity to enjoy life to its fullest potential; to amplify your well-being. 

Okay, so how on earth can you discern your health margins, and once known, what can you do about it? 

The best way to get started is to map your health using the Sustainable Health Index (SHI for short). This is a simple, pragmatic health app that asks you to answer a series of questions, and within 20 minutes gives you a snapshot of your global health and a map of the five key domains of health (disease risk, fitness, movement quality, nutrition, and stress). 

The Total Health Score is like a golf score…the lower the better. Now take a look at the map on the right. If I told you, green is good and blue is you, how does this map look to you? You guessed it. There is plenty of margin in stress and movement quality, but very little with fitness and nutrition which of course impacts the disease risk margin. 

The closer your health map mirrors the green target, the more margin you have between your health “load” and your health “limit” (or your health risk and actual disease). Mapping your health and establishing baseline is the first step towards understanding your current health margin, and developing a plan to increase that margin.

 ~ Jennifer Gamboa PT, DPT, OCS CEO Body Dynamics Inc.