Calculate Your Body Composition


Body composition is described as the relative amounts of fat and lean body tissue. Lean body tissue includes muscle. As a point of interest, 5 pounds of muscle requires 175 calories per day to sustain, whereas 5 pounds of fat requires only 10 calories per day to sustain. Research suggests that individuals who have a higher waist measurement (girth) have an increased risk of cardiac incidents.

Endurance training has a profound effect on body fat and body weight. The effect can be subtle or significant depending on the initial ratio of fat and the level of fitness and individual has. Walking has been cited as one of the most effective ways to add endurance related activities into your daily routine.

If you are interested in gaining an approximate idea of your body composition measurement, follow the directions below:


Hip to Waist Ratio


    • Stand erect with feet shoulder width apart. Standing in front of a full length mirror may be helpful. For those of you who are brave enough, have a friend do your measurement for you. However, that same friend will also need to do your follow up measurements.

    • With a tape measure, measure your waist at belly button height. Make sure the tape is horizontal and is at an even level around your waist.

    • Record the measurement

    • With the tape measure, measure around your hips (at the widest portion of your hips i.e. where your hips meet the tops of your legs)

    • Record the measurement

    • Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement and record the value.

    • women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution

    • men with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 1.0 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution