BMI test and checker, for a healthy BMI and better understanding
Maybe you’re new to the concept of BMI. Or, maybe your doctor told you that your BMI was too high or too low, and you’re curious to find out more. Whichever the case, this guide is for you!
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The definition of BMI
- What a healthy BMI range is
- What happens if you fall outside a healthy BMI range
Are you ready to start getting proactive about your health? Let’s talk about BMI!
What is BMI?
First things first, let’s talk about BMI. BMI is an abbreviation that stands for body mass index. There’s a simple formula for calculating your BMI – we’ll take a look at that in just a minute.
Your body mass index is a number that represents your body fat in relation to your height. BMI is applicable men, women and children. However, kids’ body mass index is interpreted a little differently than adults’ BMI.
First, let’s look at how BMI is calculated. There are simple steps you need to do before you calculate your body mass index.
Step 1: Measure your height
The first thing you’ll need to do is measure your height. The best way to record this measurement is in meters.
Standing with your heels against the wall and with your shoulders and bottom also touching that wall, have a friend or family member mark your height at the crown of your head. Be sure you’re not wearing shoes and that you stand up straight. Don’t slouch!
Then, simply take a measuring tape and note your height using the metric system.
If you only have your height in feet and inches, that’s okay. You can convert your height in feet to meters fairly simply. One inch is equal to .0254 meters. So, that means you’ll just take your inches and multiply by .0254! That’s your height in meters!
For instance, if you’re five foot seven, or 67 inches tall, simply multiply 67 times .0254. You are 1.7 meters tall.
Step 2: Measure your weight
Like your height, you’ll want to record your weight using the metric system. In other words, you’ll want your weight in kilograms.
In most countries, your scale will give you your weight in kilograms. However, in the United States and other countries that use the imperial system, you may need to convert pounds to kilograms.
This conversion is simple, too. One pound is equal to .453592 kilograms. If you have a calculator, you can use that number exactly. If you don’t, just .454 will be close enough. To find your weight in kilograms, multiply your weight in pounds by .454.
As an example, if you’re 140 pounds, just multiply 140 by .454. The answer is 63.56 – that’s your weight in kilograms.
Step 3: Learn the BMI formula
Once you’ve gotten your measurements, calculating your body mass index is easy. Just take your weight (in kilograms, of course) and divide it by your height in meter. Then, divide the answer by your height once again.
In the example above, the body mass index of a person who is 1.7 meters and 63.56 kilograms is 21.99.
Your BMI test is here
Sound easy? It is! But there’s good news. Even if you don’t have a calculator, you can quickly and easily calculate your BMI. How? By using our calculator!
The only thing you’ll need to do to calculate your BMI quickly and easily is to plug your measurements into our BMI checker! Your body mass index will automatically be populated, and you’ll be easily able to get a good indication of your health.
It’s a good idea to check your BMI regularly. Body mass index can fluctuate, and you want to be sure that you always maintain a healthy BMI. Doing so will help to prevent disease and other serious conditions.
Test to see if you have a healthy BMI
Are you ready? It’s time to calculate your BMI! Please go ahead and measure yourself, then enter your measurements into our BMI test.
Alright! So you’ve got your body mass index. What’s next?
Well, you’ll need to know how BMI is interpreted. Remember: BMI for adults and BMI for kids is a little different. If you’re 20 years old or older, here’s how the BMI checker works.
Your BMI is a number, usually from around 16 to around 40. If your body mass index number is between 18.5 and 24.9, that’s great news! You’re considered a healthy, normal weight by doctors and scientists.
If your body mass index is lower than 18.5, you’re low on the scale. You’re considered to be underweight, and it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor. We’ll look at the reasons why later in this article.
If your body mass index is between 25 and 29.9, you’re a little on the high side. That’s not considered a healthy BMI, but is classified as overweight. Again, a doctor’s visit is a good idea.
In some cases, your body mass index may be over 30. Numbers in this range are indicators of obesity and it’s absolutely necessary to see a doctor. Similarly, a BMI of 40 or higher is classified as “morbidly obese” and you’re at serious risk for medical complications.
So, what did the BMI checker tell you? Are you at a healthy BMI? Let’s look at what being outside of the healthy range can mean for you.
What does it mean if my BMI is too low?
A body mass index that’s lower than 18.5 is said by doctors and scientists to be too low. You may feel good, and look good in your clothes, but there could be trouble brewing.
A BMI that’s too low can cause serious health problems. The first of these is malnutrition. If you’re underweight, there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough nutrients. There are many conditions that can stem from nutrient deficiency. These include:
- Digestive trouble
- Trouble with your eyesight
- Skin conditions
- Bone growth trouble
- Hair growth problems, including baldness
Of course, some of these are extreme cases. But, just to be sure, please check with your doctor to be sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals.
The second problem that can occur if your BMI is too low is anemia. Anemia is an iron deficiency, and it can lead to some big problems, including:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Coldness in your extremities
- Circulatory problems
“Fixing” anemia could be as simple as adding red meat to your diet. Check with your doctor for the best medical advice.
Finally, a low BMI can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is caused by the lack of calcium and/or vitamin D, and will cause your bones to lose tissue. Your bones will then become brittle, and may become more prone to breaking and fracture.
What does it mean if my BMI is too high?
A high BMI is not a healthy BMI! Again, you may feel great. Your clothes may fit you nicely, and you even may get compliments on how good you look. But the trouble is beneath the surface.
A high BMI, particularly in those who are obese or morbidly obese, can cause many health problems. The most common of these is heart disease. People with obesity, or a body mass index of 30 or higher, are at a great risk for heart attack and other conditions.
Overweight and obese people are also at a higher risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a very serious disease, which can cause the following problems:
- Lack of circulation to extremities, sometimes resulting in infection and amputation
- Extreme weight loss (but not healthy weight loss!)
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage
- Severe damage to nerve endings, sometimes causing permanent loss of feeling
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetic coma
Heart disease and diabetes aren’t the only risks you’ll face if you’re overweight. People who are overweight, or obese, also suffer an increased risk of stroke, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression and even suicide.
What about healthy BMI for kids?
Body mass index for kids is calculated in the same way that adults’ BMI is calculated. However, the healthy BMI ranges aren’t quite the same.
Instead of measuring healthy BMI for kids on a scale of 18.5 to 24.9, pediatricians will plot a child’s body mass index on a chart. That chart compares a child’s weight and height to other kids of his or her sex and age.
Kids grow rapidly at times, and then at other times the growth will slow. For example, two eleven year olds can vary as much as six inches in height – but both might be perfectly healthy! You can calculate your child’s BMI, but if you have any questions it’s certainly best to take those questions to your kid’s doctor.
Periodically throughout the year, you may choose to use an online BMI test for kids. In that case, you’ll need to know how kids’ BMI is plotted. Here are the ranges for healthy BMI in kids:
- If your child’s BMI is in anything lower than the 5th percentile, he’s underweight. He may not be growing normally, or may be lacking in vitamins and nutrients.
- If your child’s body mass index is in anywhere from the 5th to the 8th percentile range, that’s a normal weight for his height, age and gender.
- Is the BMI over the 85th percentile? Your child is overweight and may be at risk for disease.
- In the 95th or higher percentile, your child is considered obese and medical intervention may be necessary.
The BMI checker gives a better understanding
If you’re an adult who’s 20 years old or older, this BMI checker will give you a better understanding of your overall health. Now, that’s not to say that people with a healthy BMI can’t get diseases! That’s certainly not the case.
But it’s proven that adults (and children) who are overweight or underweight are at a significantly increased risk of developing serious – even life-threatening – disease.
You don’t have to check your BMI every day. In fact, most people check their body mass index just a few times each year. However, we recommend that you bookmark this page and use our BMI checker at least once per month.
The reason for this is because your body mass index can change. Lifestyle changes, changes in activity level, stress and even sleep deficiency can cause fluctuations in your body mass index. Ensuring that you stay within a healthy BMI range can help you keep track of your overall health, greatly reducing your risk for disease.
Give the test a try and aim for a healthy BMI
Now that you know everything you need to know about body mass index, give our BMI test a try! The BMI checker is a great way to get a heads up on any health conditions you may be at risk for. It’s also a good way to chart your overall health, ensuring that you stay within a healthy range.
We recommend checking your body mass index at least once each month. And we also recommend sharing this BMI checker with a friend! Together you and your friend can set goals and stay in good health as a team!
Remember that body mass index isn’t the only way to predict disease. But if you fall outside of the healthy BMI ranges, you can be certain that you’re at a higher risk for disease! Talk to your doctor and come up with a plan to get back within a healthy range for optimal health.