A BMI chart is one tool that you can use to find your Body Mass Index or BMI. Your BMI is simply a number, derived by using height and weight measurements, that gives a general indication of whether or not your weight falls within a healthy range. It basically tells you if you're a healthy weight for your height and is a rudimentary way of telling if you're overweight or underweight.
Determine Your Body Mass Index
BMI Charts are somewhat outdated. They are a detailed spreadsheet of weights, heights and the resulting BMIs. You match your height to your weight and then find your BMI. Exercisers and coaches commonly used to carry around a BMI chart, some charts were very elaborate and even color coded. A BMI chart provides an accurate indication of your BMI and is still quite useful to have in your possession. Here are some BMI charts that you can print out and carry with you:
Calculate Your Own BMI
If you do not feel you have the need for a paper BMI chart then there are other ways of quickly finding your BMI. If you're inclined to calculations you can easily find your BMI using the following formula:
Multiply your height in meters by itself. Then divide your weight in kilograms by this number. The result is your BMI.
Numerically, the formula looks like this:
BMI = Weight in Kilograms / Height in Meters * Height in Meters
Or if you're like most individuals thriving in the digital age, then you'd rather have something fast and easy. Try the BMI calculator below.
Your BMI is a helpful number to know to determine whether or not you need to gain or lose weight. Since your BMI can indicate whether you're obese or not, it can subsequently indicate whether you're at risk for various obesity-related diseases. However, scientists have discovered that another major factor in the onset of obesity related illness is the amount of abdominal fat in obese persons. They've found a direct correlation between the circumference of someone's waistline and their risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Unfortunately, most traditional BMI charts do not take into account this additional factor.
To find out even more clues about your health you should take a tape measure and measure the circumference of your waist. Measure loosely around the thinnest part of your waistline.
Interpreting Your Results
No matter which way you calculate your BMI, interpreting your results will be same for all methods. Your BMI will likely be a number between 15 and 40. Here are what the ranges indicate:
- A BMI of less than 18 means you are underweight for your height.
- A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates you are thin for your height.
- A BMI between 18.6 and 24.9 indicates you are at a healthy weight for your height.
- A BMI between 25 and 29.9 suggests you are overweight for your height.
- A BMI of 30 or greater indicates obesity for your height.
Your waistline measurements are also very important. You are at risk for obesity related diseases if:
- You have a waist circumference over 35 inches and are a woman
- You have a waist circumference over 40 inches and are a man.
If your BMI indicates that you are obese and you have a large waist circumference, you most likely have an extremely high risk for developing an obesity related disease in the near future. You should seek medical help and nutritional support as soon as possible. Professionals will be able to help you reverse the damaging effects of obesity through weight loss and healthy eating.
Calculate Your Health Risks
BMI charts are still useful, but many people today prefer to just input their information into an online BMI calculator. Also remember that your BMI is not the same as your waist circumference and this needs to be included when determining your risk for obesity related diseases.