How to Check Your BMI?
If you’re thinking about losing weight, then you’ll probably have come across the term BMI. What is your BMI and how do you measure it?
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Knowing what you weight isn’t always enough by itself to tell you whether you are overweight. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple tool that was developed to help people find out if they have a healthy weight for their height. As long as you know how tall you and how much you weigh, you can work out your BMI to find out if you are overweight.
Measuring Your BMI
Measuring your BMI is one of the first things that your doctor will do if you ask for advice on weight loss. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, your BMI is one of the criteria that will be used to judge your suitability for the procedure. Measuring your BMI is also something that you can do for yourself at home.
You will need:
- A measuring tape and pencil to check your height (having a friend to help can be useful too)
- Scales to weigh yourself
- A calculator
Once you have everything ready you should follow these steps:
- Measure your height in metres: the easiest way to do this is to stand against a wall and hold a pencil flat against your head to make a mark. Use the tape measure to determine your height in metres.
- Weigh yourself: use the scales to measure your weight in kilograms.
- Square your height measurement: use the calculator to multiply your height by itself. For example, if you were 170 cm or 1.7m tall, you would calculate 1.70×1.70 = 2.89.
- Calculate your BMI: Divide your weight by the number you calculated in step 3. For example, if you weighed 85kg you would calculate 85/2.89 = 29.4. This is your BMI.
What Does Your BMI Mean?
The value of your BMI probably won’t mean much to you. How do you know if it is higher or lower than it should be?
You will need to compare it to the following ranges:
- A BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight
- BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9 are healthy
- A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight
- A BMI of 30 or more is obese
- BMIs that are 40 or more are considered morbidly obese
In most cases, a healthy BMI should be in the range 18.5 to 24.9. However, there are a couple of exceptions. If you are Asian, then your BMI should be a little lower to be healthy, with a normal range between 18.5 and 22.9. This is because the risk of obesity-linked conditions such as diabetes is higher in people from Asian backgrounds. Some people can also be healthy with a higher BMI, but this is really only the case for serious athletes who have a large amount of muscle. The BMI is a good guide for most people to know if they are overweight.
If your BMI is over 24.9 then you should consider making some lifestyle changes to improve your health, especially if it fell into the obese or morbidly obese range.