When it comes to measuring your health and tracking your results, there are a variety of tools available. Body mass index, or BMI, is one of them, and compares your weight to your height to determine whether you are within a healthy weight range.
In order to calculate BMI, you divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters). Then, divide this answer by your height again. The result is used to categorise you as either underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese or severely obese. Often times, health professionals will use BMI to assess whether you are at risk for chronic disease.
The five categorisations of BMI include the below:
< 18.5 = underweight
18.5 – 24.9 = normal weight
25 – 29.9 = overweight
30 – 35 = obese
> 35 = severely obese
If you are looking to use BMI as a measurement tool, it’s important to note that BMI does not consider your age, gender or body composition, meaning it doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat. In other words, if you are someone who has a lot of muscle, you may read as overweight or obese, even though you are not.
Additionally, it doesn’t measure where the fat predominantly sits on your body. Fat around your abdominal cavity (your waist) is called visceral fat and is more dangerous than other areas as it surrounds your internal organs. High levels of visceral fat can lead to a number of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.
Depending on what you are looking to measure, BMI may or may not be the right tool for you, or, may be a measurement you use in combination with another. It’s important to remember that every body is different and that your weight can be affected by several other contributing factors.
National Fitness Manager, Anytime Fitness – Kate Allott
With a career spanning 10 years as a dancer, Kate has always been fascinated by human body movement. This active background launched her into a new career in personal training, before moving into the position of National Fitness Manager at Anytime Fitness Australia. Kate’s holistic view of health and fitness is driven by her passion to educate Australians about the link between physical fitness and mental health. For Kate, it’s all about wellness, movement, and doing what you love.