The following body fat charts displayed below show body fat percentages for various age groups for men and women. The charts have been adapted for our use by charts supplied courtesy of AccuFitness, LLC.
The color portions of the charts signify “comfort” levels of body fat. Note that the red section of each chart represents “above average” body fat percentages. An above average body fat level should be interpreted as a sign of concern.
These charts are meant for information purposes only and as guides. They should not be construed or considered as medical advice and we suggest that whichever level of body fat group you fall within that you still seek verification from your doctor.
If you would like to calculate your body fat percentage, please visit: CalculateYourBodyFat.com
There are several different methods used to calculate body fat percentage. Let's discuss some of the methods that are most widely used:
What is Hydrostatic Testing?
Hydrostatic testing (or underwater weighing) is commonly accepted as the best method (most accurate) for measuring body fat. It is performed by – completely – submerging a person into a tank of water. The displacement of water is measured and your body fat versus lean body mass is calculated. It is based on Archimedes principle.
Hydrostatic testing is performed at various locations in the U.S. trained technicians at companies such as FitnessWave.
AIR DISPLACEMENT PLETHYSMOGRAPHY
What is Air Displacement Plethysmography?
Air displacement plethysmography is similar (in principle) to hydrostatic testing. Patented technology, such as BOD POD’s Pea Pod (www.bodpod.com) uses ‘air displacement measurements in a confined environment (the “Pea Pod”) to measure body fat versus lean body mass. A complete description of the measurement can be found here:
BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE ANALYSIS
What is Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis?
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (or BIA) is a common method of body composition analysis. You may recognize this method, as it is widely used in fitness centers across North America and most resembles stepping onto a scale. BIA utilizes a small electrical pulse (sent through your feet) and measures the return of the pulse in order to analyze body composition. More specifically, it compares your results to those of similar age, sex, weight, and height to determine your body composition. The BIA system is in wide use but does have some known deficiencies and results can sometimes be “thrown off” by various factors (such as water consumption or when the measurement is taken).
SKIN FOLD MEASUREMENTS
What are skin fold measurements?
Skin fold measurements are performed using body fat calipers (such as those at www.BodyFatCalipers.com). Various skin fold sites on the body are measured using the calipers, the measurements added together, and the results compared to a standard body fat chart. Body fat percentages vary depending on age and sex. When performed correctly, skin fold measurements can be a very accurate method of determining a person’s total body fat percentage.
BODY SITE CIRCUMFERENCE MEASUREMENTS
What are body site circumference measurements?
Body site circumference measurements are performed using a measuring tape. This method of determining body fat percentage requires that men and women measure the circumference of various sites on their body and then input those measurements into a predetermined formula. There are anumber of different formulas utilized today. One such formula, used by the U.S. Department of Defense to determine the body fat of enlisted members, can be found at www.CalculateYourBodyFat.com