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Hi.Q: Improving health through knowledge, motivation, and fun

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It’s that time of year again, when we’ll start hearing about new ways of tracking our health and losing weight. While that seems to be an annual holiday trend, making true health gains involves making a long term commitment to eating right, exercising more, getting more sleep, and so on. How do you learn about healthy habits? Hi.Q (free) is a new iPhone app that tests your knowledge through a series of fun and informational quizzes, then provides a community for mentoring others in a specific area or asking questions about those things you’re clueless about.

Frankly, I didn’t think I’d like this app. That’s before I spent the weekend taking quizzes, learning a ton more about health-related matters than I had anticipated, and finding that my knowledge in some areas was so good that it was considered “elite” (had a score better than 80 percent of people in that topic).

After launching Hi.Q, you’re asked to log in via email or through Facebook. The latter method allows you to brag about your results on Facebook, although I chose not to annoy friends with that capability. The app “knows” that you’re of a certain gender and age, so it tailors many of the suggested quizzes to your interests.

The quizzes are all vetted by an expert team of nutritionists, doctors, fitness experts, trainers, dietitions, organic farmers, you name it. There’s a preliminary quiz to test your overall knowledge. Some of those questions were incredibly difficult, asking about such things as Yoga poses and chromosomal birth defects in girls, two areas I’m completely clueless about… but I learned something by getting them wrong.

Each question needs to be answered within 60 seconds; you also have an “I don’t know” button to push, as well as way to “Ask a friend” about the topic.

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