A person’s Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a meant to help calculate his or her weight in relation in height, and is calculated by dividing weight by the height squared. That, of course, is if you want to do calculate it manually; you can also use the free BMI calculator on our home page to make it happen much more quickly and easily. Whether a person is male or female is also accounted for. It is trying to account for the amount of fat on a person’s body. While not the same as an actual body fat measurement, it is used to measure fitness, and to determine an ideal weight for a person based on his or her height.
What does my BMI number mean?
Anything less than 18.5 is considered underweight for the body mass index. A normal BMI is within the 18.5 to 24.9 range. Between 25 and 29.9 is overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is obese. A female who is 5’5” and weighs 165 pounds, for example, has a BMI of 27.5. To be in the normal BMI weight range for her height, the woman should weigh around 150 pounds.
A person’s body mass index is supposed to be an indication of the person’s health. It provides a more exact understanding of health because it takes into consideration the person’s height rather than just weight. Of course, BMI also has its own limitations, as well. Among other things, it does not take into account a person’s muscle mass. Someone who is incredibly muscular and fit may have a BMI calculation that says he or she is overweight.
Additionally, someone could be very slim and fall perfectly within the healthy range, but have poor diet or make other poor lifestyle choices. In that case, as well, the BMI will not serve as a practical indication of someone’s health. Yet the BMI scale continues to provide one of the more accurate scales of fitness. In general, those with a body mass index within the normal ranges are healthier. They tend to have less physical ailments, and better immune systems because all of their systems are working together.
Where did the BMI scale come from?
The BMI scale is also sometimes known as the Quetelet formula, after the Belgian who created it, Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was an astronomer, mathematician, sociologist, and statistician. He was interested in a field of study called social physics, which led him to look for statistical laws in social phenomena such as criminology (crime rates), marriage rates, suicide rates, and even public health issues.
This was referred to as “anthropometry,” which literally means “measurement of humans.” It is the term used to describe the process where scientists measure and study human individuals in order to come to a larger understanding about variations between them, including physical variations. Today, this kind of study is used in clothing and product design, among other things that depend on an understanding of body sizes and dimensions in order to be most optimized.
He developed the Quetelet index (or the body mass index) in 1844 by measuring 5000 Scottish soldiers—the anthropometry at work. His index has been referred to by professionals ever since.
How do I use my BMI number?
Figuring out your BMI is a great place (probably the best place) to start when you are trying to get an idea where you stand in terms of the health range. And it is incredibly easy to get a quick answer; it will literally tell you in seconds, as long as it takes to plug in a few numbers and hit “Calculate!” It can tell you so much more than a scale can, and it is private; the results are just between you and your Internet.
What you do with the results, then, is up to you. The best way to a healthy body and life is a constant and healthy diet and regular exercise. Do not deny your body the vitamins it needs just to lose some weight; this will hurt you in the long run. Remember, also, that thin is not always best; being too thin (even if you exercise) can also lead to many health problems such as a poor immune system that can make you susceptible to many illnesses and infections. Try to find a happy, healthy, medium between food and physical activity. What do you want out of life?
Check out our free BMI calculator on our home page to figure out where you lie on the scale, and to get started toward your new life now!