How to Calculate BMI

Body Mass Index Numbers and Your Health

According to the CDC, the formula for calculating BMI is the best method for a quick and inexpensive assessment of your health. Measuring your body fat and knowing your weight classification will enable you to take the necessary steps to create a healthy and more fulfilling lifestyle.

Calculating Your BMI

The formula for calculating BMI is [weight ÷ height (inches) 2] × 703.  To find your BMI, follow these simple steps:

  1. Square your height in inches (ex. 5’11” is 71”; 71”2 = 5,041)
  2. Divide your weight by your height (ex. 150 lbs ÷ 5,041 = 0.03)
  3. Multiple this number by 703 to get your BMI (ex. 0.03 × 703 = 21.09)

Understanding Your BMI Number

Adult BMI numbers are categorized the same regardless of gender. Use the chart below to match your BMI with your weight classification.

BMI

Weight Classification

Below 18.5
Underweight
18.5—24.9
Normal
25.0—29.9
Overweight
30.0 and Above
Obese

Creating your own BMI chart can help you specify your goal weight and keep track of your weight classification. Below is an example of a BMI chart for an individual who is 5’11”.

Weight

BMI

Weight Classification

132 lbs or less 18.4 and Below Underweight
133—178 lbs 18.5—24.9 Normal
179—214 lbs 25.0—29.9 Overweight
215 lbs or more 30.0 and Above Obese

BMI Classification and Your Health

Your weight is directly related to your overall wellness. Studies have shown that individuals with BMI’s in the overweight or obese categories have more health problems than those in the normal weight range. These individuals may experience one or more of the:

  • Hypertension
  • Abnormalities in cholesterol levels
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Sleep Apnea and other respiratory problems

While your BMI number may be shocking initially, it can also be seen as a tool to living a healthier lifestyle. Knowing your ideal weight will give you a specific goal to work towards and the motivation to stay focused on your health and wellness.