Body Fat Percentage in Women: How To Calculate Yours

Knowing the discipline soundbox fatty percentage for women might sound a little besides heavy on the skill for the non-athletes of us out there. But understanding this can be helpful when it comes to knowing that your human body is in an a-ok place. Why ? well, as the late biologist Rose Frisch discovered in her research, evaluating system of weights alone can be misleading – as muscles are intemperate ( 80 % body of water compared to 5-10 % water in fatso tissue ), meaning that many athletes she analysed appeared in the ‘ normal ’ burden range, despite having no periods, as a conduct consequence of their body writing aka r excessive leanness.
On the flip slope of this, people with a low muscle bulk and an unhealthily high body fat percentage overt themselves up to health risks, illnesses and ailments. More on this to come.

therefore. How to know what ‘s a full station to be resting at ? here ‘s the lowdown .

What is body fat, exactly?

body fat is measured by percentage, calculated by how much body fat you have in relation to the rest of your soundbox ( like your bones, muscle mass, organs, etc. ). While body fat share can be a fairly utilitarian indicator of health – as mentioned, both high and low torso adipose tissue are associated with sealed health risks .

Is your BMI or body fat percentage a better measure of health?

Depends who you ask. The NHS uses BMI ( body mass index ), which requires no especial tools or technical school to calculate. Working it out is dim-witted : just divide your weight in kilograms by your stature in metres squared .
As you ‘ve probable hear, BMI is not a perfect bill – for exemplar, it fails to account for muscle mass, which, of course, body fat percentage does. however, unless professionally done, body fat share measures are pretty inaccurate ( blue, fancy scale at your gymnasium ). overall measures of body fat besides normally do n’t pinpoint where on the body overindulgence match sits. ‘Distribution of fatty, which can be more significant when assessing hazard of disease, ‘ Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence, NHS repair, says. ‘For case fatness distributed centrally around your organs is more of a risk factor for metabolic diseases than hypodermic fat elsewhere. ‘

      How to measure body fat percentage

      Is there a room to calculate your own body fatten share ? There are several – many of which can be done at home and without eye-watering costs. But ( there ‘s constantly a but, is n’t there ? ) as previously mentioned, you ‘re not going to have an accurate figure without the aid of checkup professionals and a stint in a lab. here are some of the options available .

      Body fat percentage calculation

      If you ‘re felicitous with a rough estimate, then, fortunately for you, maths is here to help. A discipline published in the british Journal of Nutrition uses the following equations to predict body fatty percentages : For women : ( 1.20 x BMI ) + ( 0.23 x long time ) – 5.4 As such, say you were a 5ft, 4-inch 25-year-old charwoman who weighs 120 pounds – you would have a BMI of 20.5. You could estimate your soundbox fat percentage to be about 25 % using this calculation : ( 1.2 x 20.5 ) + ( 0.23 x 25 ) – 5.4 = 24.95

      Calipers skin-fold test

      This quite old-school – and uncomfortable – method of body fat measurement involves using calipers to pinch the fatten on certain areas of the body ( triceps, chest, quad, shank, etc. ) and measuring the skinfold.
      The caliper method acting can be useful in identifying where you may be carrying excess body fatness, as a precursor to diagnosing certain conditions. For example, the come of fat we carry around our waist can increase our risk of dangerous health ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes and gamey blood coerce. still, you ‘ll need an technical to help you with this matchless. even then, there ‘s a risk of human erroneousness .

      Smart scales

      While they ‘re not a cheap as your average bathroom scales, there are enough of ache scales on the marketplace that provide weight readings, a well as your body fat, muscle aggregate, body of water and cram concentration. Prices range from about £30 upwards, and while accuracy may vary, it may be helpful to use the readings as a benchmark, if you ‘re looking to increase or decrease body fat .

      3D body scanners

      Another fairly accessible option is torso composition measuring machines, such as DEXA and early 3D scanners. These contraptions work using something called bioelectrical electric resistance analysis, the rate at which an electric current can travel through your body. Nifty. Unlike ache scales, these bulky, dearly-won machines are n’t precisely the kind of thing you ‘ll buy for the corner of your toilet. fortunately, most home gymnasium chains, such as David Lloyd, F45 and Virgin Active will have their own available to members .

      Air displacement plethysmography

      We ‘ve reached the options that lab-level accuracy ( and a cost ). Air translation plethysmography is a rather visualize, specialize examination, involving a rather well-named machine called the BodPod. It will require you to hang out in an egg-shaped chamber for a few minutes, where experts will determine how much air your body displaces. respective universities and research facilities in the UK, including the University of Westminster and the british College of Osteopath Medicine, have BodPods and offer assessments to the public, normally for around £40 .


      Hydro-what-now ? ( Try saying that five times debauched. ) Hydrodensitometry, or subaqueous count, is considered the amber standard in consistency adipose tissue measurement. It involves being wholly submerged in water, and measuring how much of the body of water is displaced. Some super-simplified skill : bone and muscle have a greater concentration than water, so person with a larger share of nonfat mass will actually weigh more in water. On the other hand, person with more body fatty mass will be lighter in the water. unfortunately, this is not something you can do at your local lido – you ‘ll need to go to a particular adeptness for a test like this, and it ‘s less readily available in the UK than breeze displacement plethysmography.

      Why do women tend to have a different body fat percentage to men?

      On average, women have 6-11 % more consistency fat than men. What ‘s up with that ? well, it ‘s probably to do with your body priming you to make babies. The hormone estrogen has been shown to reduce your ability to burn energy after eating – which translates to more fatten being stored around the body.

      What’s a good body fat percentage for women?

      According to The Royal College of Nursing, a goodly body fat share for women aged 20 to 40 is between 15 % and 31 %. As you get past 40, your ideal body fat percentage might get higher. ‘While goodly levels are normally between 15 and 31 % for women, this is actually individual, ‘ explains Dr Rebecca Robinson, a adviser in sports and use medicine. besides, there are more important metrics to consider. ‘It ‘s more important to have lower visceral fatten ( around the organs ) and be physically fit, than low numbers on measurements of hypodermic fat. ‘

      Body fat percentage breakdown

      5 to 9%

      If your consistency is only between 5 to 9 %, your body fat is perilously low. Eight per cent is normally the fat necessity for your body to work – and may hard compromise your health. If you ‘re here, go and see your GP .

      10 to 14%

      This is distillery very moo – athletes, for model tend to have this level of fat .

      15 to 19%

      Women who have 15 to 19 % body adipose tissue tend to have an acrobatic build and be super physically fit .

      20 to 24%

      This is on the lower english, but still healthy .

      25 to 31%

      This is a good body fatness percentage and the average percentage for a woman. Muscles are not so specify, arguably ‘softer ‘ but, by checkup standards, this is not an issue .

      30 to 34%

      This share is when you ‘re steering away from healthy and fleshiness. Your torso may not be feeling as paroxysm .

      35 to 39%

      Having a consistency fat percentage over 35 % means you may develop diabetes and other diseases such as kernel disease .

      What are the dangers of high body fat?

      A eminent body fatty percentage may put you at risk of a overplus of chronic conditions — many of which are major causes of death and disability – including :

      • Heart attacks
      • Strokes
      • High blood pressure
      • Cancer
      • Diabetes
      • Osteoarthritis
      • Kidney disease

        What are the dangers of low body fat?

        The risks associated with abject consistency fat are similarly good. Falling on the very low end of the spectrum will put you at gamble of :

        • Osteoporosis
        • Nutritional deficiencies
        • A weakened immune system
        • Fertility issues

          Can low body fat cause no periods?

          ‘When you ’ re focused on significantly lowering body fatty, whether through following an extreme exercise government and/or restricting calories, the body perceives you to be in a stressed state and decides this is not the time to reproduce, ‘ says Dr Meggie Smith, a chap in generative endocrinology and sterility at the University of Southern California. ‘Signals from the genius to the ovaries, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, shut down. ‘ ‘The luteinising hormone [ which triggers ovulation ] international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate produced and the ovary neither releases an egg nor makes estrogen and progesterone. ‘ While being corpulence or corpulent disrupts your generative system by producing besides much estrogen, swerve towards the other extreme to a depleted body fat share and ‘you basically enter a post-menopausal state ‘, warns Dr Smith.
          This low-oestrogen express can have a knock-on effect, Dr Robinson says. ‘This can have a very damaging effect on bone health raising the risk of fracture, and besides on your intestine, immune system and genial health. ‘

          How to maintain a healthy body fat percentage

          Think about your calories

          ‘If you ’ ra consuming fewer than 2,000 calories and doing endurance sport, your consumption is probable to be inadequate, ‘ says registered nutritional therapist Jo Scott-Dalgleish .

          Check your greens

          Compare a drooping, day-before-expiry pack of asparagus with a fresh bunch from a local market. The first international relations and security network ’ t offer you much energy. ‘It ’ south not entirely about a healthy diet, it ’ second about healthy food, ‘ urge Dooley. ‘Your catgut microbes are significant, so think about the food that your body ’ sulfur bacteria eats. ‘

          Ditch the carb-o-phobia

          Don ’ triiodothyronine yaw carbs in favor of protein. ‘The body ’ south primary coil aim is obtaining fuel, ‘ says Scott-Dalgleish. ‘If there is a lack of fuel ( carbs ), then the body will convert protein into it – thus not using protein for repairing or construct. ‘ Scott-Dalgleish suggests consuming more starches and sugars ( including yield and vegetable ) on heavier train days .
          Kirsti Buick
          Kirsti is a health and seaworthiness diarist, a personal trainer and technical school drug addict.

          This capacity is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their e-mail addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and exchangeable content at