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How to Measure Your Body Fat Percentage

by Sandra Lee on March 26, 2020

If you are a sportsman or related to some sort of profession that requires a lot of physical activities, you already know how to calculate body fat percentage and how important it is to maintain the body fat percentage chart. Even for those, who don't know, we are going to discuss on 6 different ways to measure your body fat percentage.

But before moving on to how to measure body fat percentage, we should be aware of the percentage of body fat you should have to stay healthy and fit because even that is necessary. If you are a woman, you definitely need to have more body fat in comparison to men of your age. Thinking why?

Well, it's not only because of your hormonal functions but also to help you bear a child. Meanwhile, different research organizations have already published charts providing the ideal body fat percentage you should have along with the age, profession etc.

6 Ways to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

When it comes to measuring your body fat percentage, there are different methods like skinfold caliper, Bod Pod, DXA scanning, etc. Meanwhile, each and every one has its own different techniques and each is popular among a particular mass.

Below, we are going to provide 6 different ways to calculate your body fat percentage. Once you are done, you can go ahead and choose the one that suits you.

The skinfold caliper is considered to be an effective way to measure the body fat percentage. But, there can be a few cons related to it. If you do not perform it properly, it can give you incorrect measurements. Hence, for calipers, it is always preferred to have someone to help while measuring to perform it flawlessly.

how to measure body fat

This machine is easier to use and accurate as well. All you have to do is to stand on it. And it will show your body weight along with your estimated body fat percentage by using bioelectrical impendence through the sensors below your feet. This is widely available for home use. Meanwhile, you can link it with your fitness band or any other body fitness app to transfer the data as well.

Ugramo Fit Pro Smart Body Scale will help you measure your body fat easily. With 4 precise sensors, you will not only see your body fat quickly but also have an extensive insight into your body composition.

how to measure body fat percentage
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This quick method of measuring body fat using just a measuring tape was developed by the US Navy. You measure neck, abdomen, and height and insert the reading into the body fat percentage calculator.

In the case of women, the body parts measured is different and so is the formula to calculate the body fat. And the outcome will be the estimated body fat percentage of your body. Now, this may not be 100% accurate, but gives you a brief idea of your body fat.

Maybe you can try a smart body measuring tape to get your body circumsference much easily.

measure body fat percentage
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This is a classic example of applying Archimedes principle to use. You will be immersed in the water and your body mass will be calculated along with the estimated body fat.

Now, this procedure is scientific, but the correct amount of air stored in the lungs must be calculated properly first to avoid any miscalculation in the body fat percentage.But it's hard for people to apply in the daily life.

measure body fat percentage

This is one of the most accurate and precise body fat tests till date. You only have to lie down on the table like doing X-ray. And the instrument will provide you with the current condition of muscle mass, fat tissue and bones scanning every square inch of your body.

measure body fat

Don't be afraid of that egg-shaped pod looking computerized device. You go inside it, and the machine will accurately calculate your body fat percentage along with your body density. Meanwhile, it will take only 10-15 minutes of yours and is completely safe.

how to measure body fat percentage

The Ideal Body Fat Percentage for Women and Men

Now that we are already aware of the measuring methods, let's come back to the body fat percentage scale, that each should have based on their sex and age.

As mentioned earlier, women need to have a higher body fat percentage and so the average body fat percentage scale of a woman ranges from 21 - 36% whereas the range for a man of same age comes down to 12 - 25%. In fact, to get a detailed picture, we can refer to the chart of Jackson and Pollard Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart.

For individuals ageing within 20-30, the ideal body fat percentage scale for men and women is 17.7 - 19.3% and 8.5 - 12.7% respectively. Meanwhile, for women and men between 40-50 years, the body fat percentage is 22.2 - 25.2% and 15.3 - 18.9%.

ideal body fat percentage

There are multiple other charts as well, mentioning the of men- women, bodybuilder, athletes, and some of them come with other measurements like fitness, stamina as well.

The Difference between Body Fat and BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the primary procedure to determine whether you are healthy or unhealthy, based on your height and weight. But when it comes to digging deeper, the Body fat measurement comes to use.

BMI measurements provide a general assessment of your body weight in comparison to your height, and at times may give incorrect readings, while not calculating the weight of the lean muscles. So, for athletes and other sportsmen, having more lean muscles tissues, this has a high chance of proving incorrect measurements.

On the other hand, Body Fat Percentage measuring procedures and instruments focuses on calculating the body fat only and hence provides more accurate results. Meanwhile, there are numerous ways to measure your body fat percentage accurately and most of them are easy to avail as well.

Now, the body fat percentage may look like something which is not of much importance, but actually, it is. Because of excessive body fat percentage, people suffer from several severe health conditions and some are fatal even. Excessive body fat percentage leads to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and can lead to stroke, kidney failure or even worse, cancer. So don't ignore it and measure your excessive body fat percentage now.