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How do you work out body fat percentage?

Ive found two different body fat percentage calculators on google, one told me I was 32% fat, the other (with exactly the same measurements) told me Im 17.5% body fat. Obviously one or both of these is wrong. Does anyone know of an accurate calculator or a formula to work it out? Cheers
Measuring with a tape measure. The calculators asked for height, weight, measurement round the waist at belly button height, and one asked for a measurement round the neck also


  1. How are you measuring? If with a tape measure, then the results will be inaccurate. Bodyfat scales and calipers will give better results. If you can find access to a DEXA scanner you will get an exact result.

  2. The most accurate way outside of a laboratory (which will cost a lot of money) are the body calipers. You can get an inexpensive one for around $50 that will calculate the percentage itself. The calculations by anatomical measurements vary, but I found the ones given by the YMCA and the Navy seem to be reliable (do a google search under body fat percentage calculations) . I generally recommend doing several of the online calculators and take the average. I have not seen the differences you are describing (32% versus 17%) so my guess is there is an error in there some where. But looking at yourself you can tell if you are closer to 32% or 17%.

  3. You can get calipers for a lot less than 50 dollars. The important thing is to use them in the right places around your body.
    Here are links for some inexpensive calipers that come with very good instructions and a chart to calculate your own results from:
    And here’s a link that will tell you more about the whole topic:


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