Body Mass Index is a measure of body fat and applies to adult men and women, as well as children. It’s a calculation of body weight in relation to height. In this article, we’ll look at how to use the BMI formula to calculate your BMI. There are many online calculators that you can use to calculate your BMI. If you like, you can also create your personal calculator with calculator builder by Calconic.
Body Mass Index is basically a technique of screening for a weight category using the ratio of your height to your weight. This method is used in the health industry to determine if one’s BMI is within a healthy range.
Calculating Your BMI
BMI calculators make work so easy. However, you can still calculate your BMI by yourself.
Manual calculation of BMI involves dividing your total weight by your height squared; then multiplying the result by 703. For example, let’s calculate the BMI for a person who weighs 200 pounds and has a height of 65”
Calculation: [200 ÷ (65)2] x 703
[200 ÷4225] x 703
BMI calculators are really helpful when it comes to understanding your overall health. Knowing your BMI is a good way to tell if you’re at risk for disease. The higher the BMI, the higher your risk for developing weight-related health issues like cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, or hypertension.
If your BMI is:
- Below 18.5, you’re Underweight
- Between 18.5 to 24.9, you’re Healthy (at the ideal body weight)
- Between 25 to 29.9, you’re Overweight
- Above 30, you’re Obese
- Above 40, you’re Severely Obese
BMI doesn’t account for the different variables that affect one’s health. This explains how two people can have the same BMI but have different health conditions. Our body types are different. Therefore, other factors that affect BMI have to be put into consideration in order to accurately assess your risk for conditions that are associated with higher BMI. Such factors are muscle mass, bone density, personal medical history as well as family history.
Generally, people with larger bone frames are likely to have higher BMI. The same applies to those people who are active because their muscle mass is high.
BMI, although a useful screening tool, is too simple. Body assessment is improved when you use waist circumference measurements.
Alternatives to BMI
Other forms of measurement can be used to indicate, more accurately, how your weight affects your health. Combining one or more of the methods below gives a far more accurate indication of how much body fat one has.
- Waist-to-Hip Ratio
This is an excellent way to indicate how much excess weight one is carrying. You get the ratio by dividing the circumference of your waist by the circumference of your hip.
- Waist Circumference Measurement
Measuring your waist can give you a good indication of the amount of abdominal fat that you’re carrying.
- Body Fat Measurement
The simplest way to measure your body fat is to use a special set of calipers to take the fat measurement from the waist, triceps, biceps, and shoulder blade. The total sum of these measurements (in millimeters), is plotted against a chart that also takes into consideration your age and sex.