How to Measure Body Fat Using a Tape Measure


Body fat is the amount of good and bad fat on your body. Even though you need a certain amount of body fat to insulate the body, store nutrients and maintain a level of attractiveness, too much body fat can cause serious health and emotional issues. Those with a high percentage of body fat are more prone to heart disease, liver failure and other major medical issues. Having too much body fat can also cause the body to feel sluggish which can lead to depression. You can use a measuring tape to calculate your body fat. This can help you create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth tape measure
  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • Scientific calculator

Measure your natural waist size. This is the area located between your stomach and hips. Place the end of the tape measure above your naval wrapping the tape measure around your waist for the correct measurement. Record this measurement.

Measure the widest part of your hips. Hips are located just below the stomach and above the thighs. Record this measurement.

Measure the thigh and calf of your dominant leg (leg that is the strongest, usually corresponds to which hand you write with). The calf of the leg is located above the ankle and below the knee cap. Record these measurements.

Measure the wrist of your dominant hand. Record this measurement.

Measure your neck and record this measurement.

Use an online body fat calculator to determine the correct amount of body fat. You can also calculate body fat using this formula: %Fat=(163.205_LOG((abdomen)+(hip)-(neck)))-(97.684_LOG(height))-78.387

You will need a scientific calculator to perform this calculation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask a friend to perform these measurements for more accurate results. Take body fat measurements each month until you achieve a healthy percentage of body fat.
  • Seek medical advice before starting an exercise or diet regimen.

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