Ways & How

how to calculate body mass index

how to calculate body mass index

The advancement of technology, improved nutrition, awareness of health issues, rising popularity of various forms of exercise, the influence of media, and other factors have urged many people to become health-conscious. Better medical care and an overall improvement in the quality of life and living conditions give this generation more chances to live to a ripe old age than the generations before it. It is important to enjoy this privilege, embrace the advantages it gives, and maximize the benefits it allows. One way to do this is to watch your weight as this helps keep you in good overall health. But weight in and by itself is not always an accurate indication that your health is good. Many women, in fact (and now increasingly so also for males), hold a magical number in their minds as their ideal weight, sometimes disregarding body build, height, age, and other factors. A better way to take a more realistic view of your weight vis-à-vis your overall health is through the Body Mass Index. Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a mathematical formula adopted for use because it provides a good approximation of a healthy weight for an adult person in relation to his or her height.

It is helpful for you to know how to calculate Body Mass Index if that is something that concerns you.

  1. Use a scale to get your weight and measure your height. You can also have someone else measure your height if that’s easier for you. Stand against a wall with bare feet and your head held erect. Have the other person mark the wall where it is level with the top of your head. Using a tape measure, a measuring stick, or a ruler, measure the distance in inches from the floor up to that mark.

  2. The formula for BMI is weight (in lbs.), divided by height (in inches) squared, and then multiplied by 703. BMI = lbs/inches2 x 703.

  3. Let’s say you are 160 lbs and 68 inches. Plug those numbers into the formula to get your BMI, which is 24.3. The question now is does that figure indicate that your weight falls in the good or risky range?

  4. For the average adult 20 years or older who is not pregnant, a frail senior, nor a body builder and does not have a debilitating illness, a BMI between 19 to 25 is considered within the acceptable range. Anything below 19 is consider underweight, 25 to 29 is considered overweight, and anything beyond that is seen as obese.

If you want to find out how many pounds you need to lose in order to fall within the acceptable healthy range, a good gauge to follow is this: one BMI is about 4-8 lbs. If you are already within the acceptable range, especially if you’re close to the bottom, do not attempt to lose more weight just to have a lower BMI. Being underweight can be just as much of a health risk as being overweight and may seriously compromise your health, especially as you grow older. If you must lose weight, follow the guidance of a health care or weight-loss professional. Never lose sight of the fact that the reason for watching your weight by following these steps on how to calculate Body Mass Index is to be healthy, not to endanger your health.


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