A body fat calculator is a tool used to determine the percentage of fat in relation to the rest of one's body. For instance, if a person weighs 150 pounds (68 kg) and is ten percent body fat, that means he or she is carrying 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of body fat. A certain percentage of body fat is necessary to be healthy, but a body fat calculator assists in determining what a healthy range is for one's height and weight, and whether or not a person is within that healthy range.
In general, anyone with a body fat percentage from 30 to 35 percent is considered overweight to obese. People need different percentages of body fat depending on their activity level, age, and gender, and a body fat calculator can help to determine that. A body fat percentage that is too low can be just as unhealthy and dangerous as one that is too high. There are many free body fat calculators to be found online, and many gyms and personal trainers offer assistance in computing them as well.
In a gym, a personal trainer will typically use calipers to take measurements of skin folds in various areas of the body, and plug those measurements into a body fat calculator along with height, weight, and age to determine body fat percentages. When using a body fat calculator at home, however, most online forms simply ask for measurements of the hips, waist, legs, chest, and arms or wrist, along with height, weight, and age. These measurements can typically be taken with a measuring tape. In general, measurements taken with a caliper are more accurate, so it may be a good idea to purchase a caliper for home use.
It is important to be accurate when taking measurements for a body fat calculator, because body fat percentage can be a helpful measure of one's health. It can also be a way to track improvement through exercise and healthy eating. A simpler type of body fat calculator is a body mass index (BMI) calculator, which simply uses height and weight measurements to calculate an approximate percentage of body fat. This can be much less accurate than when taking careful measurements, but it is a place to start to get a general idea of body fat percentage.
To improve body fat percentages, it is necessary to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. It is also important to drink plenty of water. Though some body types are genetic, it is certainly possible to bring body fat percentages within a healthy range.