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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 42

June 2004 

You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web.

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring. Getting the most from your computer.jpg (5543 bytes)

Jackie has also written the two books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.

Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her

or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too

June 2004 


Q:  I want to lose weight, and have been told that it is best to use my BMI (body mass index) as a measure of progress.  Can you show me how I could use my computer to work out the figure and keep it updated as a diet? 

A:  Spreadsheets such as Excel are excellent for doing complicated sums and monitoring changes, as long as you can provide the correct formulae. Instead of relying on actual weight, you can keep track of your healthy weight by working out your BMI.

For new dieters, the international classification for BMI is:

Below 20 – underweight

20 – 25 – acceptable weight

25 – 30 – overweight

30 – 40 – obese

Over 40 – very obese 

Here is what you would need to do to work out your BMI on paper:

  • Express your current weight in kilograms. (If you weigh yourself in imperial units, you need to divide the pounds by 2.2)

Example:  if you weigh 10st 2 lbs, as there are 14lbs in 1st, your total weight in lbs is (10 x 14) + 2 = 142lbs.  Divide by 2.2 and this becomes 64.5kg

  • Express your current heightin metres.  If you measure this in inches, you must multiply the figure by 0.025.

Example:  if you are 5ft  5”, there are 12” in 1ft and so your heightis (5 x 12) + 5 = 65”.  Multiply by 0.025 and this becomes 1.6m. 

  • Square your height. = 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.6

  • Divide your weight by your squared height. i.e. 64.5/2.6 = 24 BMI



In Excel, you need to set out the details as follows: 

The actual values will be: 

As you lose weight, change the figures in cells A3 and B3 and the final BMI will instantly change.


View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

Click on a book or magazine image above or below to see full details.




For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

Don't forget to visit the general laterlife features section called laterlife interest



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