bmi2-150x150I would venture that the majority of adults in the UK have heard of BMI – Body Mass Index. The term is used regularly in the newspapers and referred to in many government National Health Service initiatives.

So what is BMI? It stands for Body Mass Index. It is a quick way to measure human body fat based on an individual’s weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet. Body mass index is defined as the individual’s body weight divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2. BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colors for different BMI categories. (source WIKIpedia).

The NHS use BMI as a quick indicator for your weight. It is called the Healthy weight indicator.  Visit the web page below, having found out your height in cm and your weight in kg or stones and llbs:

Depending on your weight and height your results will be placed in the underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese categories.

There are several problems with the BMI as a reliable indicator for health. If someone is de-conditioned and unfit then the scale will work as the larger your weight is to your height then the return is overweight or obese. However, if you are tall, heavy and well muscled, the BMI return will also be that you are overweight or obese.  Similarly, if you are short, heavy and well muscled, the BMI return will also be that you are overweight or obese.

Is there a better option than BMI? Yes. It’s to measure an individual’s body fat percentage. This calculation or measurement shows how much fat is in a person’s body which is a far more accurate reflection of health. See below:

In the free consultation with a HAVIT trainer, you receive not only a Body fat Percentage reading but the following useful health measures – Muscle %, Visceral fat (amount of fat around your organs), Blood pressure, Resting heart rate, circumferential measurements and flexibility tests. If you’d like to have these tests completed for free and to find out how a HAVIT trainer can help you click the free consultation button at the side of the page now!

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