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Body Fat Percentage Calculator for Men and Women

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  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-07-28 (Rev. 2017-06-25) - Information regarding calculating body fat for males and females includes body fat calculator and formula. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World.

Definition: Body Fat Percentage

The total mass of fat divided by total body mass; body fat includes essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage of essential body fat for women is greater than that for men, due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. The percentage of essential fat is 3 to 5% in men, and 8 to 12% in women (referenced through NASM). The body fat percentage is a measure of fitness level, since it is the only body measurement which directly calculates a person's relative body composition without regard to height or weight.

Main Document

"Storage fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue, whose main role is to store energy in the form of fat, part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen."

The calculator below calculates the percentage of fat your body contains. For example: If you weigh 220 pounds and the calculator reads you have 10% fat, then your body consists of approx. 22 pounds of fat and 198 pounds of body mass. The percentage of body fat for women is greater than that for men.

A person's total body fat percentage is the weight of the person's fat divided by the person's weight, which reflects both essential and storage fat.

What is Essential Fat

Essential fat is that amount of fat necessary for maintenance of life and reproductive functions. Essential fat is 2% to 5% in men, and 10% to 13% in women. A certain percentage of body fat is essential to human functions such as: insulating internal organs and tissues, regulating body temperature, and as energy storage.

What is Storage Fat

Storage fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue, whose main role is to store energy in the form of fat, part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen.

Our body fat calculator uses the standard U.S. Navy Circumference Measurement, this is where three or four separate body measurements are entered into the body fat percentage calculator in order to estimate the percentage of your body comprised of fat.

Body Fat and BMI:

Body fat can also be estimated from your Body mass index or BMI. There are a number of formula that relate body fat to BMI. Note these calculations are only an estimate and there will be variations around the results, as slightly over for obesity - see our Body Mass Index Calculator

Body Fat Calculator

What the body fat calculator numbers mean:
ClassificationFemales (% fat)Males (% fat)
Essential Fat10-12%2-4%
Athletes14-20%6-13%
Fitness21-24%14-17%
Acceptable25-31%18-25%
Obese32%+25%+

Note: The accuracy of skinfold bodyfat testing depends on the accuracy of the measurements. Measuring calipers are recommended. Your entered measurements should be accurate to within 0.5cm (0.25 inches) and measured as follows:

a) Height Measurement: Should be measured without shoes
b) Neck Measurement: Should be taken below the larynx sloping slightly downward at the front
c) Waist Measurement:
i) Measurements for men should be at navel height
ii) Measurements for women should be at the smallest point
d) Hip Measurement: (women only) should be at the largest point

Note: The essential fat values in the charts above are lower than the recommended minimum body fat percentage levels. As we mentioned above, a small amount of storage fat is always required to be available as fuel for the human body in time of need.

The body fat calculator formula is derived from the following calculation:

Calculating Body Fat - Formula For Males:
1: (Total body weight x 1.082) + 94.42
2: Waist measurement x 4.15
Lean Body Mass: Factor 1 - Factor 2
Body Fat Weight: Total bodyweight - Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage: (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight
Calculating Body Fat - Formula For Females:
1: (Total body weight x 0.732) + 8.987
2: Wrist measurement (at fullest point) / 3.140
3: Waist measurement (at naval) x 0.157
4: Hip measurement (at fullest point) x 0.249
5: Forearm measurement (at fullest point) x 0.434
Lean Body Mass: Factor 1 + Factor 2 - Factor 3 - Factor 4 + Factor 5
Body Fat Weight: Total bodyweight - Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage: (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight.

Note: Calculators and tools supplied by Disabled-World.com do not provide medical advice and do not replace advice of medical professionals. No guarantee is made that the calculations and/or results are accurate.

Printable body fat percentage chart (right click - select print)

Body fat percentage chart

Facts: Body Fat

  • Female breasts are composed almost entirely of fat.
  • For long term weight loss you need to expend approximately 4000 calories to lose one pound of fat.
  • Fat cells exist in all parts of the body except the eyelids, parts of the esophagus, the brain and the penis.
  • A typical adult has approximately 50 billion fat cells - which means there are more fat cells in one human body than there are people on the earth.
  • The body tends to deposit fat according to your individual genetic code. Females will accumulate fat around their thighs and hips, males around the midriff.
  • We all need body fat to live. In fact, it is so essential to normal, healthy functioning that an average, size 10, slim female carries approximately 100,000 calories of fat on her body.


Related:

  1. Weight Loss Planning Calculator for Women and Men - Our Weight Loss Planning Calculator helps you to establish realistic time-lines for your weight loss goals - (Published 2010-12-26).
  2. Height to Weight Ratio Chart - Calculate your ideal weight to height ratio using the handy height to weight guide chart to help you avoid obesity related illness or even future disability later in life.
  3. How to Count and Calculate Calories - What are calories and how to count them in various food groups - includes daily protein and calorie needs counter.

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