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What Is BMI And How To Calculate It?

BMI calculator

 What Is BMI or Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index

Body mass index or BMI serves as an examining tool that helps you to understand whether a particular individual belongs to obese, overweight, underweight or healthy weight category. BMI is an essential instrument that is widely used by many people throughout the world, and you will find this trend mostly in gym or exercise centers.

BMI is often known as Quetelet index, and the value of this index is calculated from the weight and height of a person. Basically, the word body mass index denotes a body mass which divided by the square of that particular height of the body.

This body mass index is calculated and expressed in kilogram per meter square unit ( Kg/m2  where the meter is the unit of height and kilogram is the weight of the body. BMI helps in identifying the fat, bone and muscle mass of a particular which constitutes the whole weight and accordingly they will be given exercises to maintain a fit body.

BMI comes handy in detecting the health risk of a person, and if a particular person’s BMI crosses the fit mark in the BMI scale, then that person is prone to health issues. However, there are a lot of controversies related to BMI and people often argue about the placement of the dividing line between categories.

BMI Chart

BMI Chart

BMI of a person can be understood from its table, but the first one needs to calculate the BMI of that person. A person is underweight when that person’s BMI is less than 18.5 kg/m2, and a person is fat when their BMI ranges between 18.5 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2. However when the BMI of a person goes above 30 then that person is obese. The value of the BMI doesn’t depend on the age or sex of a person, and it independently provides the result depend upon the height and mass. Everyone should remember that BMI might not provide the same result due to different population has varied proportions.

Utilization Of BMI –

BMI serves as examining tool that provides a probable result, but it can’t be taken as an analytical tool. Most of the experts utilize this tool to identify a mass problem in a person and detect whether the person is prone to health issues or not. Even if a particular individual has low or high BMI, it is the task of an expert to determine whether the excess or low weight is a risk to the health. An expert conducts a lot of examinations and those tests include family history, physical activity, skinfold thickness measurement, diet and other health check-ups.

Height Vs Weight Chart

Height Vs Weight Chart

Benefits of BMI –

  • It helps the victim in identifying and preventing any health risk that is found when BMI is calculated.
  • By normalizing the BMI to a healthy level, it helps the victim to reduce blood glucose, the risk of type 2 diabetes and blood triglycerides.
  • It improves sleep patterns in the victim.
  • It prevents the victim from developing any type of causes of cancer.
  • By regulating the weight, the person can ease any kind of issue related to circulatory and heart.
  • The blood pressure stays at a healthy level, and the regulation process of bodily liquid is also improved.
  • The chances of getting muscles pains or joint pains are reduced by a significant margin.

How to Calculate Body Mass Index?

BMI Calculator

BMI Calculator

The calculation process of the body mass index is quite simple, and it only includes a particular person’s weight and height. BMI formula was discovered 150 years ago, and Belgium Statistician Adolphe Quetelet developed it.  The whole calculation of BMI entirely depends upon the method, and the height should be in inches while the weight should be in pounds. However, you can even use the kilogram unit for your weight and meters for your height, and both units will produce the same result as the original unit.


Body Mass Index = Weight (inpounds)/ Height(ininches) ^ 2 * 703.

Body Mass Index = Weight (inkilograms)/ Height(inmeters) ^ 2.

For the Imperial BMI formula, there is a slight alteration in the method, and weight should be multiplied by 703. However, when you calculate in the metric equation, you should convert centimeters to meters as most of the time heights are shown in centimeters.

BMI Calculator

BMI Calculator

Example Using Metric Formula –

If the height of a person is 170 cm and the weight is 70 kg. Then first you need to convert the centimeter of the height to the meter by dividing the figure by 100, and it will produce 1.7m. Then you to put these figure in the in the metric formula.

BMI = 70 / ( 1.7 *1.7 )

= 70 / 2.89

= 24.22. ( This indicates that you are in healthy range)

Example Using Imperial Formula –

When the height of a person is six ft. 1 inches and the weight is 160 pounds, then at first you need to convert the feet into inches. So six ft. 1 inch equal to 73 inches and it will be included in the calculation.

BMI = ( 160 / ( 73 * 73 ) )* 703

= ( 160 / 5329 ) * 703

=  21.1 . ( It denotes that the person has healthy weight )

However, there are some special considerations related to BMI calculation, and you should remember that fat and lean muscle tissue is not included when commencing calculation of BMI. A person who doesn’t exercise in their daily and opts for junk food will have high BMI, but you will be startled to know that an athlete also have high BMI but this doesn’t indicate that individually is overweight.


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