Body Fat Formulas -


There are different ways to measure the  percentage of body fat, the main option is to be measured in a nutritional consultation, in consultation with a sports  doctor or in a gym, and what the above options have in common is that they are all a private place since you need a comfort space, because for the measurements people must be stress-free and with very little clothes. When deciding to perform this body fat calculation test at home, the following options should be considered:

  1. If you are the subject of measurement, the most recommended is that another person  (with knowledge in the technique of anthropometric measures) make the measurements, since in the body itself and by the positions in which the measurements should be taken, most likely will generate errors in the skinfold taking and the results, in addition there are places that yourself cannot reach.
  2. It is advisable to always use the same equipment for all measurements, use the  same formula to calculate the percentage of body fat,  and that it is the same person (with knowledge in the technique of anthropometric measures),  who takes all the measures.
  3. Remembering that performing such tests is a science that requires practice, professional supervision and training to get it right and get accurate and reliable results.
  4. However, if it is strictly necessary to do it only by yourself, it is not impossible and there are several options according to the type of formula and measurement sites you can consider. Refer to the different formulas to calculate % body fat here

Equipment Options / Methods for Calculating % Body Fat: Advantages and Disadvantages

Bascule BIA

A Bascule for Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or Bioelectric Impedance is a sophisticated scientific instrument, used in body composition research and analysis, which measures the strength of body tissues by flowing a small electrical signal that travels more easily through the parts of the body that are mainly composed of water (such as blood, urine and muscle) and from that calculate the percentage of body fat. Currently there are home scales (bath type) on the market that include a bioelectric impedance analyzer, which has two electrodes built into two pads where the feet are located at the base of the scale.


  • It is easy to use
  • Fast
  • No knowledge of professional measurement techniques or supervision is needed to use it, making it ideal for doing so at home.


  • This instrument only considers the total fat mass in the body, so it does not indicate the specific location of the fat.
  • The person to be measured must have controlled conditions of hydration, amount of urine and blood circulation, since an increase or decrease of these elements in the body, can generate erroneous results on the percentage of body fat.
  • The price of such a reliable equipment is generally high, the cheapest ones do not cost less than $100 USD.

Manual Skinfold Measurement

This is the most well-known instrument and used by health professionals for taking skinfolds with which formulas are applied to calculate the percentage of body fat. The results are highly accurate if the measurements of the skinfolds are made by a person who has knowledge in the technique of anthropometric measurement and has had experience, in addition to the choice of formula to calculate. As mentioned above, it is not the most appropriate technique if oneself is who will perform the measurements of the skinfolds. You can learn the right technique by consulting our Guide to Taking Anthropometric Measures. If you want to know the different applied meters that can be used, you can go to this blog How to measure % body fat percentage with a skinfold caliper, and in our store there are products of excellent quality.


  • Instrument most used and recommended by professionals.
  • The price ranges of the skinfold calipers can be very affordable in relation quality - price.
  • They are made of durable material and accurate.
  • Easy calibration if a calibration block is purchased.


  • Knowledge is needed for anthropometric measurements, such as corporal lengths and/or skinfolds.

Accumeasure Digital Caliper

This is a small digital caliper that has come to market that shows the results of the thickness of the fat skinfold on the screen that has built-in, and has memory to record different results of various measurements, with these measurements you can apply a formula to calculate the percentage of body fat.


  • It is easy and quick to read the measurement result.
  • Saves several measurements to an internal memory.
  • It has an affordable price.


  • Knowledge is needed for anthropometric measurements, such as corporal lengths and/or skinfolds.
  • As there are variations and duplicates of this product on the market, it can be of dubious quality and provenance.
  • Difficult calibration and technical service in case of damage.

Tape Metric Method

This is a way to calculate percentage of body fat by applying an equation using the result of the circumference measurement of different parts of the body. There are several formulas to calculate it and it is relatively easy to perform, however, it is a method that is not fully accurate and has been discarded by many professionals.


  • It is easy to perform.
  • It only requires one tape measure.


  • Knowledge is needed for anthropometric measurements, such as corporal lengths and perimeters.
  • It is neither accurate nor reliable in the results.
  • It is not used by professionals.


software anthrometrix