How to calculate your BMI
Being able to determine your Body Mass Index, or BMI, can be an important tool in determining the amount of fat that you have. Invented nearly 180 years ago in Belgium, the BMI measurement tool has been used as rough guide for health care professionals to determine whether an individual is over or under weight. It has been helpful, though not necessarily accurate in determining how much “fat” you have.
Simply stated, an individual’s body mass index is determined by his or her weight divided by his or her height (squared). Consider the following equation:
BMI = weight / (height * height)
The index can determine an approximate weight based on the person’s rate in proportion to his height. However, most health care professionals would also account for the muscle mass that the individual has, which could have a significant effect on determining a level of healthy weight. The BMI has a simple rating: A person who falls under 18.5 in the index would be considered underweight, whereas a person who rises above 30 points in the index, would be consider to be significantly overweight, or obese.
Since the weight offers only a glimpse of the individual’s weight, BMI is calculated a bit differently for children. The equation is the same however is compared to the BMI of other children in established charts. The BMI then, is offered in a percentile, which can be compared to other children.
Determine what you weight is on a scale.
Determine what your height is.
Plug in the numbers in the equation: BMI = weight / (height * height)
Remember that being underweight or overweight can also be based on a variety of factors, most notably the amount of muscle mass you have. Figuring out your BMI can give you a rough estimate on whether you fall into a particular “category.”
You may consider monitoring your BMI at least twice a year to determine if you are where you want to be. This information is essential to the diet and lifestyle you choose to follow. Increase exercise and a healthier diet is important to maintaining normal weight.