There are a few ways of determining the fat content of a person’s body, and among them there is a method developed by US Army that calculates body fat with good precision. This parameter is estimated for all service members of the US Army since they are required to meet the army percentage body fat (%BF) standards as a condition of military service.
The Army Body Fat Calculator is based on the U.S. Army Standards of Medical Fitness, published on June 27th, 2019. This calculator will determine body fat percentage and whether the calculated body fat percentage is in compliance with the army recruitment standard, the standard after entry into the army, or the most stringent standard of being in compliance with the Department of Defense goal. To ensure accuracy, take the average of at least three measurements.
All circumference measurements should be taken horizontally:
- Height – make sure you don’t wear shoes and stand up straight.
- Neck – measure its circumference below the larynx (Adam’s apple).
- Waist – measure it at the at the navel level for men, and around the narrowest part of the abdomen for women.
- Hips – this measurement is needed for females only and should be taken at the widest part of the buttocks or hip.
You can input the values in both metric and imperial units. Having taken these measurements, you can use them to find your body shape.
Appropriate body fat is one of the medical fitness requirements to join and stay in the U.S. Army. The Department of Defense releases its body fat requirements every few years as part of the Standards of Medical Fitness. The latest release was published on June 27, 2019, and the requirements are summarized in the following two tables:
Maximum Allowable Body Fat Percentage to Join*
|40 and over||30%||36%|
Maximum Body Fat Percentage Standard after Entry*
|40 and over||26%||36%|
Department of Defense goal: 18% body fat for males, and 26% body fat for females.*
After meeting the initial qualifications, a person’s body fat will be measured periodically. Those who fail to meet the requirements may be put on a mandatory weight loss program and may be subject to administrative sanctions.
According to the Standards of Medical Fitness, body fat is calculated based on the physical size of a person which includes the height, neck, and waist size for men, and the height, neck, waist, and hip size for women. When taking measurements, the subject should be standing upright with arms at rest on both sides. The subject’s neck should be measured at a point just below the larynx, and the waist should be measured either at the point of minimum circumference or close to the belly button. The hip in contrast, should be measured at its widest point.