Understanding your BMI

July 24, 2019

You have probably heard of the “Body Mass Index” from your doctor, but what exactly is BMI and how can knowing yours help you set more realistic goals around your diet and exercise?

Your BMI is the amount of fat your body has compared to the amount of muscle, or lean tissue, you have. It can be figured out by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches, and then multiplying that number by 703. You can use the calculator we have in our Healthy Moves section to figure out what yours is.

An average BMI is between 18.5 - 24.9. In general, an adult whose BMI is below 18.5 is considered underweight, a BMI of 25.0-29.9 is considered overweight and anything higher than that is classified as obese. The weight equivalents to BMIs change based on how tall you are, but for a person that is 5’9” a normal or healthy weight is in the range of 125-168 pounds which is equal to an 18.5-24.9 BMI.

Once you know what your BMI is, you can compare it to the healthy average. If it is higher or lower than the average, you can work toward a goal you set to reach that range. Continuing with the example of a person with a height of 5’9”, they could set their weight goal anywhere between the 125-168 pound range! That leaves a lot of room for improvement at your own pace.

You can learn more about BMI on the Center for Disease Control Website.