Efficiency VS. Norms

Before I dive in I want to say that I owe a lot when it comes to this topic to my study with The Institute of Physical Art. I first heard this idea and these concepts in their classes so a lot of the credit for this idea goes to them.

Something important to think about when it comes to your physical health or your health in general is efficiency. We often say we want to get “back to normal” when it comes to overcoming an illness or injury. I think we have to start focusing on moving past normal and getting to efficient. “Normal” is often a wide range and varies from person to person. “Normal” for an Olympic athlete is far different from that of an average person. “Efficiency” takes a different approach. Efficiency is about making the most of your individual level of function.

An example of this is your heart health. It’s quite normal in the United States for people to have high blood pressure. In fact 47% have high blood pressure or are taking medication for high blood pressure. (Citation 1) If that is normal I for sure don’t want to be normal. We as a country and as a species are constantly living longer but having more health problems during those years. Now that we are living longer, we need to start living better. That’s where efficiency comes in.

A better way to think about it is to strive for efficiency. Efficiency is about performing at the highest level possible within your range of normal. Efficiency allows us move past where we are now and gives us something to drive for with goal setting.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension Cascade: Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment and Control Estimates Among U.S. Adults Aged 18 Years and Older Applying the Criteria from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s 2017 Hypertension Guideline—NHANES 2015–2018 external icon. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2021. Accessed March 12, 2021.

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