Online body fat calculator is an incredible yet easily accessible tool that’s used to measure the amount of body fat in someone’s body. The calculator uses the average population to indicate a person’s body fat category along with the ideal percentage of fat for their age range.
There are different ways to measure the percentage of body fat. However, using a simple online body fat calculator is the most straightforward way as it needs no special equipment or lengthy appointments with an expert. A person will only need a tape measure and some few minutes to collect all the information they need to get an instant body fat measurement.
The online market offers a wide selection of body fat indicators, each presenting a set of benefits and downsides. However, they are all designed to help users know and monitor their body fat levels. Most of these calculators will require hip, waist, arm and neck circumference measurements and gender to compute the body fat index based on average values.
This then leads us to the question, what is body fat percentage?
Body fat percentage is the percentage of a person’s body weight that is fat. For instance, if one weighs 100 pounds and have 10 pounds of fat, then their body fat percentage is (10/100) x 100 = 10%. From the illustration, the body’s fat mass is a moving target and keeps changing as one loses or gains fat or muscle.
So, if this person did some weightlifting and used proper diet to add weight from 100 to 120 pounds with 5 pounds of extra fat gain, their new body fat percentage would shift to about (20/120) x100 = 16%.
How to use the body fat calculator
Taking weight measurements
It is recommended for one to take their measurements the first thing in the morning because weight can fluctuate throughout the day. Whenever possible, one should use a digital scale.
What to use
Next after measuring weight, is taking the body measurements. The best way to do this is by using a soft, flexible tape measure to collect the numbers – the tape measure shouldn’t be elastic.
Taking body measurements
When measuring the circumference of the neck, wrist, hips, and waist, the tape should feel firm enough against the skin, but not too tight that it dents the skin. It should be noted that different online calculators will need different body part measurements. Here are some common measurements:
- Waist circumference:This is a measure of the largest part of the belly, which is often around the navel. The tape should be in parallel with the floor, and breathing normally.
- Hip circumference:This measures the largest part of the hips, or where the buttocks extend behind
- Wrist circumference:Measurements of the smallest part of the wrist
- Forearm circumference:Measurements at the widest part of the arm, right under the elbow
- Height: This is the distance from the head’s top to feet’s bottom when one is standing erect.
- Neck circumference: This is the distance around the narrowest point of the neck
Once all these data are collected, one can then input the required measurements in the specified fields on the online body fat calculator and hit the calculate button.
Body Fat Percentage Categories
There are 5 different body fat ranges or categories; this is according to the American Council of Exercise (ACE).
Body Fat Percentage
|Category||Men (%)||Women (%)|
|Essential Fat||2 to 5||10 to 13|
|Athlete||6 to 13||14 to 20|
|Fitness||14 to 17||21 to 24|
|Acceptable||18 to 24||25 to 31|
|Obese||Over 25||Over 32|
Note: These categories are according to body fat norms and may not indicate an individual’s specific level of health or fitness.
According to ACE, someone’s lifestyle choices and overall health should be factored in before deciding whether their body fat percentage is within the acceptable range or not.
Body fat and disease risks
According to the American Council of Exercise, there’s a huge link between the risk of chronic diseases and illness for men with more than 25% body fat and women with over 32% body fat. Measuring the body mass index (BMI) is an excellent way for an individual to assess their risk for issues like cardiovascular diseases. BMI is a measurement that helps determine whether one’s weight falls within the normal range.
Importance of measuring body fat percentage
Everyone knows that excess weight leads to obesity – however, what most people don’t know is that the type of weight is what makes obesity a concern. There are three kinds of body weight: lean body mass, bone, and fat mass. For many people, lean body mass and bone mass are somewhat steady.
Fat mass is what causes obesity. Unfortunately, this is what leads or contributes to many human diseases including cardiovascular and fatty liver diseases. Obesity can also lead to lowered lung function and early arthritis.
Monitoring and maintaining body fat percentage is the best way to curb body weight, minimize obesity-related health issues and enhance wellness.
Other methods of measuring body fat
- Other than using theonline body fat calculator, one can use any of these methods:
- Bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA)
- Skin caliper measurements
- Hydrostatic weighing
Measuring body fat mass is as easy as going online and keying in some body measurements. And given the importance of maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, it is worthwhile to make monitoring body fat a habit.