US Navy Body Fat (%) Calculator

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About US Navy Calculator

The US Navy Body Fat Percentage calculator uses a method involving equations developed at the Naval Health Research Center by Hodgdon and Beckett in 1984.

US Navy Body Fat % calculator is considered accurate to approximately 3–4% whereas with DEXA (another popular method) the individual error rates tend to hover around 5%, although some studies have shown error rates as high as 10%.

Moreover, the DEXA scan comes at the cost of using a machine and which includes the time and cost of getting to a machine and paying for using it whereas the US Navy method can be used anywhere including from home by measuring the circumference of required body parts and using an online calculator like above to get the body fat percentage.

The U.S. Navy implemented its current body composition assessment (BCA) program in 1982. The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) has conducted several research studies in the past to find a more accurate, affordable, and/or time-efficient body fat estimation technique.

However, none of the NHRC studies resulted in changes to the Navy’s BCA program. The results of the study showed that using standalone DEXA measurements would increase the estimated percent body fat for males and decrease the estimated percent body fat for females as compared with the Navy’s current method.

The US Navy’s method simplifies the measurement procedure, provides Navy personnel with more accurate information in terms of their health risk, as well as maintain estimated percent body fat accuracy without any associated increases in terms of cost, training, or administration time.

How to Measure Body Parts

  • Waist: Measure the circumference of the waist at a horizontal level around the navel for men and at the level with the smallest width for women. Do not pull the stomach inwards to obtain accurate measurements.
  • Neck: Measure the circumference of the neck starting below the larynx, with the tape sloping downward to the front. Avoid flaring the neck outwards.
  • For women only: Measure the circumference of the hips at the largest horizontal measure.

Body Fat % Limit for US Navy members

The limit of body fat percentage for US Navy service members:

  • Age 18 to 21 – 22% for males, 33% for females
  • Age 22 to 29 – 23% for males, 34% for females
  • Age 30 to 39 – 24% for males, 35% for females
  • Age over 40 – 26% for males, 36% for females

Importance of Body Fat %

Body fat percentage plays an important role in distinguishing between a healthy and an obese individual.

It has a greater ability to differentiate between lean mass and fat mass compared to BMI.

Want to understand what your Body Fat % means for you? Simply book a consultation here.

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Calculate Body Fat (%) using the US Navy Method
Calculate Body Fat (%) using the US Navy Method