What Is Your Body Mass Index?

by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated September 25, 2017)

Body Mass Index (sometimes abbreviated as BMI) is a number that results from a mathematical calculation that is based on how much you weigh as well as how tall you are. To figure out your Body Mass Index, you can do the following calculation:

  • Multiply your weight, in pounds, by 703.
  • Divide the answer by your height, in inches.
  • Divide the answer by your height, in inches, again.

So, for example, if someone weighs 163 pounds and is five foot two inches (62 total inches), that will look like this:

163 x 703 = 114,589

then you take that total and divide it by your height, in inches:

114,589 / 62 = 1848.2 

In this example I rounded the answer to the nearest tenth for convenience. Then, that total gets divided by your height in inches one more time:

1848.2 / 62 = 29.8

So, in this case, the answer is 29.8. This is the Body Mass Index. Find your number in the chart below and you'll see where, according to your Body Mass Index, you are, health-wise.

  • Underweight: BMI is below 18.5
  • Healthy weight: BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is between 25 and 29.9
  • Obese: BMI is between 30 and 39.9
  • Morbidly obese: BMI is 40 or greater

While you can find your Body Mass Index fairly easily, there are a few things you'll need to know if you're going to use it as a basis for weight loss or gain. First of all, it doesn't take into account whether you have an "unusual" build. For example, a senior citizen may have lost muscle mass, so his or her weight would need to be adjusted for that loss. An athlete may have more muscle than the average person for whom this formula was created. In that case, that person's body weight would need to be higher than what is estimated here for that person to be healthy.

Calculating the BMI in this way is also to be used for adults only. It is best to talk to your doctor about how much your child should weigh, as often their advice will be to keep them from gaining any more weight and let them grow into their heft.

Author Bio

Cassandra Merkling


Oily Skin Care

Oily skin requires special care, and there are several natural remedies that can help make it its most beautiful. Here ...

Discover More

Dealing with an Asthma Attack

Having asthma may be difficult, but it doesn't have to be completely miserable. Get your asthma under control with these ...

Discover More

De-cluttering the Bathroom

Is your bathroom full of things you know don't belong there? Or are you at a loss as to where to start emptying it out? ...

Discover More
More Beauty Tips

Ways to Combat Body Odor

Offensive body odor can be a problem for some people. If you need to reduce your body odor, there are several things you ...

Discover More

Understanding Body Shapes

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and one is not better than another. Once you understand about body shapes then you'll ...

Discover More

Understanding Body Types

Body types can be confusing, but they are actually very straightforward. There are three main types: the Endomorph, the ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)