Body Mass Index (BMI)

Last updated: July 30, 2019

What Does Body Mass Index (BMI) Mean?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of an individual’s weight to squared height ratio. A person’s BMI is used as an indicator of his or her level of body fat. Because this measure does not directly assess body fat, it is used as an indicator rather than a diagnostic tool.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Body Mass Index (BMI)

While not an exact measure, body mass index has been demonstrated to reliably indicate body fat levels within large groups of people. BMI is considerably less accurate within individuals and should be used in conjunction with other health metrics. The use of a ratio to calculate BMI takes into account the fact that taller people will naturally have a higher average weight than those who are shorter. However, because the ratio uses body weight as a primary measurement, athletes or others with high-density muscle tissue may have a high BMI but a low level of body fat.


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