There are a few ways of determining the fat content of a person's body, and among them the 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.

Calculate your body fat and scroll down to check if you could join the army. The US Army body fat calculator uses a different formula to the method provided in our US Navy body fat calculator and body fat calculator, so you might also want to check them out.

What are the necessary measurements?

According to the US Army Regulation 600-9, the tape should be made of a non-stretchable material, preferably fiberglass. All circumference measurements should be taken horizontally:

  1. Height - make sure you don't wear shoes and stand up straight.
  2. Neck - measure its circumference below the larynx (Adam's apple).
  3. Waist - measure it at the at the navel level for men, and around the narrowest part of the abdomen for women.
  4. 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.

What formula does the US Army body fat calculator use?

The equation is described in the Army Regulation 600-9 - The Army Body Composition Program.

It looks like this for men:

%BF = (86.010 * log10( waist – neck ) ) – [70.041 * log10(height)) + 36.76

And like this for women:

%BF = (163.205 * log10( waist + hip – neck ) ) – (97.684 * log10(height)) – 78.387

Please note that the formulas presented above are designed to work for values in imperial units.

The US Army body fat percentage standards

The US Army body fat percentage standards for the military service described in the Regulation 600-9:

  • Age 17 to 20 - 20% for males, 30% for females;
  • Age 21 to 27 - 22% for males, 32% for females;
  • Age 28 to 39 - 24% for males, 34% for females;
  • Age over 40 - 26% for males, 36% for females.
Małgorzata Koperska, MD

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