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MySQL: Storing different types of data in 1 column

Thread title: MySQL: Storing different types of data in 1 column
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10-07-2012, 01:57 AM
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  Old  MySQL: Storing different types of data in 1 column

The measurement column's data varies. Some measurements will be strict numbers (time, distance, reps, weight - converted to seconds, cm's, lbs.)

I'm at a crossroad with how I store an exercise that's measurement is both weight and reps. I could do something like "60 20" for 60 lb 20 reps. However querying for that data might become a burden if I cannot keep the column as int (would have to change for varchar I figure.)

Would it be best to add more columns to each exercise:

id | userid | exerciseid | date | notes | time | weight | distance | reps

Or am I good with having just the single column to contain all the data? If it were separated into many I'd have loads of NULL values.

I would eventually be pulling the numbers to create graphs. If I could query them correctly I can take the burden off PHP.

What would you do?


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