Body Fat Calculator

Estimate body fat percentage using body measurements.

This body fat calculator uses the U.S. Navy Circumference Method where three to four body measurements are fed into a fixed formula to estimate your body fat percentage. It is only an estimate and not a replacement for having your body fat measured professionally.

Body Fat Calculator

Body Fat
* Hip measurement necessary for females only

How to Take Your Measurements

Ideally have someone help you take your measurements. The measurements need to be accurate to within 0.5cm/ 0.25 inches, and should be taken as follows.

Neck: Wrap the measuring tape at the level just below the larynx (Adam’s apple), with the tape slightly sloping downward at the front.

Your shoulders should be down and relaxed. Avoid flaring your neck outward. Keep your head straight and look forward.

Waist: Women should wrap the measuring tape around the smallest part of their waist. Men should wrap the measuring tape around the level the belly button. Ensure the tape is horizontal all the way round, including around your back.

Hips (women only): Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your hips. For most women this is just below the hip bone and around the largest part of the butt. Keep the measuring tape horizontal.

Healthy Body Fat Percentage

Not all fat is bad. Some body fat is necessary for normal bodily functions (e.g. digestion and temperature regulation) and reproductive function, this is called essential body fat. Too little fat can result in health problems such as immune dysfunction and disrupt the menstural cycle.12

On the other hand, excess body fat has been linked to a greater the risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, inflammation, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.34

Women naturally have a higher body fat percentage than men. Furthermore, body fat tends to increase with age while muscle mass decreases (though regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training can minimize this).56

Body Fat Percentage Categories

There are several different ways of classifying body fat percentage. Some of the most commonly used classifications are listed below.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) categorizes body fat as follows.7

Body Fat LevelWomenMen
Essential Fat10 – 13%2 – 5 %
Lean (Athlete)14 – 20%6 – 13%
Average (Fitness)21 – 24 %14 – 17%
Acceptable25 – 31%18 – 25%

Healthy Body Fat Level for Age

A healthy body fat percentage may also be divided into the following ranges depending on age and gender, though may be a little lower in athletes.8

40 -5923–33%11–21%
60 -7924–35%13–24%

These body fat charts provide only general ranges. Ideal body fat percentage will vary from person to person.

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is the weight of a person’s body fat divided by their total body weight. The advantage of measuring body fat percentage is that it distinguishes between body fat and fat-free mass, which is made up of everything that is not fat (muscle, bone, organs, water, and other tissues in the body). However, body weight and body mass index (BMI) cannot distinguish between body fat and fat-free mass.

Therefore, tracking your health or physical changes through body weight or BMI alone can be misleading, because they can’t tell the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. For example, if you have been exercising you may not have experienced any significant weight loss. However, your body fat percentage is probably decreasing, while your muscle mass is increasing. The scale can’t show those important changes. 

Furthermore, it is possible to have a high body fat percentage, even if body weight or BMI fall within a healthy range. Measuring body fat percentage can identify people who fall in the healthy BMI category but have high levels of body fat (known as normal weight obesity).91011

Measuring body fat percentage can also provide a more accurate picture in athletic people with a BMI that puts them in the overweight category but who have a lot of muscle and low body fat.

Body Fat Distribution

In addition to body fat percentage, the distribution of body fat (body shape) is a separate and important factor in assessing the risk of disease.

Excess belly fat is associated with a higher risk of chronic conditions compared to the kind of fat found directly under the skin (subcutaneous fat).12

To determine your body fat distribution and associated health risk, use the waist-to-hip ratio calculator.


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  1. Great calc, not too far off from skin fold tests. Got 10.5%, though I measured this in the evening. Maybe I would have gotten a smaller number if I measured first thing in the morning. Hoping to reach 8% in 3-6 weeks.

    On a side note, how accurate are skin fold tests done with a vernier caliper instead of a skin fold caliper? I only have a vernier caliper at home 🙁

  2. 29.6 and I’ve been running 6-7 days a week for the last couple of months and at least 3 times a week a month before that. Feeling a bit discouraged. I was very petite up until 4-5 months ago. Any recommendations? I could use the advise. Thanks.

  3. MY god save me from myself i scored 63.7% how sad. But the point is i care and am starting to look after me I get so caught up in my kids. I have also had three difficult pregnancy’s. Its all very exciting.see how i go. no excuses.

  4. I got 15.3%, which would place me at the same level as an athlete. The problem is, I still feel really self-conscious, particularly about my stomach and hip fat. I am very athletic, and enjoy running and trampolining, but I just can seem to shift this weight. I’m 16 years old, European, 50 kgs and 157 cm and female. Can anyone offer me any advice? I know I’m still young, but for the sake of my self confidence, I would like to tighten my stomach and hips.

  5. mine was 18.6- although I have really large thighs and I’m trying to slim them down! I think it’s mainly muscle as I did a lot of sport when I was younger and I have a very high metabolism. I’m slim everywhere else so my thighs look out of proportion- any ideas on the best way to slim them down? I’ve heard running is a good method?

  6. Ms. Lady Devilish , if you are let’s say 5′ ,you have to multiply 5×12 =60 .Because if you are using inches, there is 12 inches in 1 foot. Hope it helps.Bec.that’s what I did and it take it.Good luck. 🙂


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