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How To Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

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Are You Carrying Too Much Fat? Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage To Find Out.

To Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage is to take a measurement of how much fat our bodies are carrying in comparison to the rest of the body’s lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else) that is not fatty tissue. A certain amount of fat is healthy. The fat we carry in our bodies is responsible for numerous functions in our bodies such as temperature regulation and the cushioning or insulation of organs. Fat is also a valuable energy source.

Knowing your body fat percentage is very important when you are trying to improve your health and fitness. While knowing your Body Mass Index can be very useful as a quick guide to whether you are a within a healthy weight range, the calculator below also takes into consideration your age and gender as well as your height and weight. When people talk about wanting to ‘lose weight’, often what they are really mean is that they want to ‘lose body fat’. Building up some lean muscle is an expected outcome of healthy eating and regular exercise so putting on body weight due to increased muscle mass should be viewed as a positive change in most circumstances. Knowing your body fat percentage can also assist in creating realistic health goals. For example, a person who commences a new weight training program may lose 3kg of fat but may put on 5kg of lean muscle mass at the same time. The scales would then show that they have put on 2kg and their BMI would increase. Understanding that the amount of fat in their bodies has reduced in this instance can be very beneficial so as not to lose hope at the beginning of a new health plan.

Body Fat Percentage Variables

When you calculate your body fat percentage, remember that a higher body fat percentage is expected in females because women have a different composition compared to men. This is due to physiological difference such as hormones, breasts, female reproductive organs and the fact that women require a higher amount of body fat for ovulation to occur. Age is also considered when calculating the acceptable levels of body fat in a persons body. The expected body fat percentages for growing children are slightly higher than for adults. When people get older, their lean body mass is likely to decline due to reduced lean muscle mass and reduced bone density. This is results in an expected increase in body fat percentage in the older population.

Tools Required For Measuring Body Fat Percentage

There are many ways to measure ‘fat levels’, including the use of tape measures, fat callipers and ultrasound machines, however the quickest way to get an idea of your body fat percentage is to measure your current height (in metres) and weight (in kg), then enter the details into the following formula along with your age (in years).

How To Calculate Body Fat Percentage For Women Over 17 Years Old

Body Fat Percentage For Women = ((BMI x 1.2) + (Age x 0.23)) – 5.4.
The recommended range for women is 16-33%

How To Calculate Body Fat Percentage For Men Over 17 Years Old

Body Fat Percentage For Men = ((BMI x 1.2) + (Age x 0.23)) – 16.2.
The recommended range for men is 7-25%.

How To Calculate Body Fat Percentage For Girls Aged 5 To 17 Years

Body Fat Percentage For Girls = ((BMI x 1.51) + (Age x 0.70)).
Healthy ranges can vary from 14-30% for girls.

How To Calculate Body Fat Percentage For Boys Aged 5 To 17 Years

Body Fat Percentage For Boys = ((BMI x 1.51) + (Age x 0.70)) – 3.6.
Healthy ranges can vary from 10-23% for boys.

What If My Body Fat Percentage Is Too Low?

If your body fat percentage is lower than the recommended levels, you are at risk of health complications such as organ damage. If you are an elite athlete, your fat levels may be quite low at certain times, however be sure you are giving your body enough fuel that it isn’t burning the vital fat stores that are responsible for protecting your organs. If you are below the recommended range, consult with your doctor.

What If My Body Fat percentage Is Too High?

If your body fat percentage is above the recommended score, you fall into the obese category. To avoid health complications associated with obesity it is recommended you discuss a healthy living plan with your doctor.

Body Fat Calculators For Women, Men, Boys and Girls

Use these body fat calculators to calculate your body fat %, based on your sex and age.

After you have measured your current height (in metres) and weight (in kg), enter the details into the following Body Fat Percentage Calculators, based on your sex and age (in years).

Body Fat Percentage Calculator
For Women >17 Years

ie 1.72
(>17 years)

Body Fat Percentage Calculator
For Men >17 Years

ie 1.82
(>17 years)

Body Fat Percentage Calculator
For Girls 5-17 Years

ie 1.5
(5-17 years)

Body Fat Percentage Calculator
For Boys 5-17 Years

ie 1.5
(5-17 years)

Body Fat Percentage Is A Useful Measurement Of A Persons Health

Just one measurement of a persons health, a person’s body fat percentage can indicate whether that person may at risk of other health issues and can also be a useful tool in determining the best ‘weight loss plan’ for someone who wishes to get healthier and lose body fat. There are many other variables and health conditions that can affect the composition of persons body. If you calculate your body fat percentage and you are concerned about how much fat you are carrying, be sure to talk to your local doctor before embarking on a new eating or exercise plan.

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About Author

As Editor in Chief of 'Health & Wellbeing Australia', Lucinda brings over 20 years experience in the Health Industry, with 14 years as a practicing, registered Physiotherapist; specializing in pelvic floor and erectile dysfunction issues, to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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