How to Calculate IBW

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IBW, or ideal body weight is determined by a formula. Medical professionals use this information to determine drug doses for their patients. The first IBW formula was developed Dr. Broca, a French doctor, in 1871. Since then, several variants of the formula have been created. The Robinson formula, created in 1983, is the most widely used in the medical field today.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Measuring tape

Measure your height in feet and inches using the measuring tape.

Subtract five feet from your height. For example, if you are 5'6", you would be left with six inches.

Multiply the remainder by 4.18 if you are male or 3.74 if you are female. For example, if you were a 5'6" male, you would multiply 6 times 4.18 and get 25.08.

Add the result from step 3 to 114.4 if you are male or 107.8 if you are female to find the ideal body weight. For example, you would add 25.08 to 114.4 and find that the ideal male body weight would be 139.48 pounds.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are shorter than five feet, use a negative number in step 3 rather than a positive number. For example, if you were a 4'10" female, you would multiply -2 by 3.74 and get -7.48. When you add -7.48 to 107.8, you get 100.32 pounds as the ideal weight.
  • The IBW formula is used only to determine drug doses, and not to determine obesity.

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