Depending on people's lifestyles, their actual age and the age of their joints can differ by several years
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A simple online test lasting ten minutes was all it took to make people older. Just 27 questions were enough to age the test subjects by up to ten years. The participants included a self-proclaimed sports dynamo to a man of more advanced age. Harmless questions like “Can you touch your feet with your fingertips without bending your knees? If not, how many centimeters were still remaining between your fingers and feet?” turned many users into time travelers. Those who truthfully answer the questions posed by the online Joint Age Calculator quickly determine whether or not there is a gap between their chronological and true age, and how great the difference is.
The Joint Age Calculator
enables anyone to quickly and easily calculate the age of their joints — regardless of what their chronological age is. And the process reveals surprises, because hardly anyone suspects that their joints are in such bad shape. The website of Seven Seas, a Merck subsidiary, is doing more than just making people curious. It also conveys health-related information in an entertaining manner and offers a 12-week training program for strengthening joints.
A customized program for the bones
Torben Hersborg, a renowned London-based sports medicine specialist and osteopath, collaborated with nutritionist Rosemary Leonard to develop the simple but clever concept. The test begins with questions concerning the user’s age, weight, occupation, dietary habits, everyday physical activity, and participation in sports.
To create a therapy plan that most closely fits the profiles of test subjects, they are also asked if they sometimes experience pain or have problems with certain types of bodily movement. Last but not least, the subject is asked to perform simple gymnastic exercises to show how fit his or her joints are. After the 27 questions are answered, the age of the joints is provided with a click of the mouse — and a special therapy plan is sent via e-mail.
Users receive recommendations regarding nutrition, sports activities, and lifestyle choices — custom-tailored to their personal test results. The 12-week program serves to help them rejuvenate their joints and prevent osteoarthritis and other ailments. “The flexibility of joints improves in correlation to the strength of the muscles surrounding them,” explains Hersborg. “And that means nutrition and physical activity must be precisely coordinated.”
Medical information in an entertaining format
The entertaining test has attracted strong interest on the part of the public and trade journalists: OTC Bulletin, a British publication, honored the Seven Seas team from Hull with its award for Best OTC Consumer Advertising on the Internet.
“Over 100,000 people have visited the website, and 28,000 of them took the joint test,” reports Paul Ferron, who managed the project at Seven Seas together with Sarah Day and Annaliese Smith.