Fitness Body Composition - What is your Body Mass Index?

Since bodies come in various shapes and sizes, and weight changes at different times of your life, many physicians use a measurement called body-mass index (BMI) to determine if adults are overweight. BMI is a height-weight system of measurement that applies to all gender. The BMI is a number that reflects the percentage of body fat in proportion to lean body mass (i.e. bone, muscle, tissue, organs, and blood).

Based from the World Health Organization's standard, an ideal weight would be inside the healthy weight range of 20-25. But BMI can potentially misclassify people as fat, even though their percentage of body fat is not excessive. Therefore, trust your own judgement about your own body because BMI-based body descriptions can be wrong.

To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters:

BMI = (weight in kilograms) divided by (height in meters x height in meters)
BMI = kg/m2

The lower the percentage of your body fat, the lower your BMI number. Go to the Fitness Calculators section to instantly get your BMI. For adults over 20 years old, BMI falls into one of the following categories used by the World Health Organization (WHO) as its international standard:

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
20-25 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obese
Above 40 Very obese

There are also several ways to get your BMI. But since the following BMI tests require special tools and expertise to perform, it is quite difficult to do any of them:
  • Pinch test (technically, anthropometric test)
    The tester uses a tong-like skin-fold caliper to pinch the skin, fat, and underlying adipose tissue in about half a dozen places on your body.
  • Tank test
    You exhale until there is no more air in your lungs, and then submerge completely for five seconds until your weight is recorded on an underwater scale in a large tank.
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
    In this test, the electrodes are attached to your foot and hand and then a painless signal between the two electrodes can determine your BMI.
  • Analyzer scale
    This calculates various personal data from a statistical input and a 10-second weigh-in. Input includes your weight, height, gender, clothing weight, and mode (adult, adult athlete, or child).

If you are lucky, even though you may have been making some bad lifestyle choices, you are still in good health. Still, you need to consult your physician before radically changing your lifestyle and plunging into a Fitness Exercise or Program.

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