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BMI Range and Healthy Weight for Older Adults

Angela loves researching new facts, especially those about science and history. She feels that knowledge is essential in growth.

Body Shapes of Women with BMI of 30

Each of these women have a BMI of 30, yet as you can see, they each are shaped differently, some appear overweight, others look more average, yet all are classified as obese.

Each of these women have a BMI of 30, yet as you can see, they each are shaped differently, some appear overweight, others look more average, yet all are classified as obese.

What Is the Body Mass Index?

The body mass index, or BMI, is often used to determine if a person is under, over, or at their healthy weight. It is calculated by comparing one's height to their weight. For most people who are not physically active and have a relatively average body composition, BMI is a good indication of healthy weight.

If you fall out of the healthy weight range, then you could be at risk for many diseases, especially heart disease, high cholesterol, cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Also, studies have shown that people with cancer who have a higher BMI usually have a much lower chance of survival.

Although BMI does not indicate the quantity of fat, for most people, it is a better indicator of health than weight alone. There is a range of healthy body mass index, which means that two people with the same height can vary 10–15 pounds and still be considered healthy weight.

It is important to note that the calculation is not the end-all, be-all of a reasonable size. Some factors may cause you to have a higher than normal BMI, yet you may still be at a healthy weight for you.

BMI Index Range KG/M^2 (Scroll Right for Complete Table)

Underweight: 17.9 and under
Normal Weight: 18 to 25
Overweight: 25.1 to 29.9
Obese: 30 to 40
Severely Obese: Above 40

aproximate weight and height88 lb or 40 kg110 lb or 50 kg132 lb or 60 kg154 lb or 70 kg176 lb or 80 kg198 lb or 90 kg220 lb or 100 kg243 lb or 110 kg265 lb or 120 kg110 lb or 130 kg309 lb or 140 kg330 lb or 150 kg353 lb or 160 kg

4'11" or 1.5 m

18

22

27

31

36

40

44

49

53

58

62

67

71

5'1" or 1.55 m

17

21

25

29

33

37

42

46

50

54

58

62

67

5'3" or 1.6 m

16

20

23

27

31

35

39

43

46

51

55

62

63

5'5" or 1.65 m

15

18

22

26

29

33

37

41

44

48

51

59

59

5'7" or 1.7 m

14

17

21

24

28

31

35

38

42

47

51

55

55

5'9" or 1.75 m

13

16

20

23

27

30

33

37

40

43

47

52

53

5'11" or 1.8 m

12

15

19

22

25

28

31

34

37

40

43

47

49

6'1" or 1.85 m

12

15

18

20

23

26

29

32

35

38

41

44

47

6'3" or 1.9 m

11

14

17

19

22

25

28

30

33

36

39

42

44

6'5" or 1.95 m

11

13

16

18

21

24

26

29

32

34

37

39

42

6'7" or 2 m

10

13

15

18

20

23

25

28

30

33

35

38

40

How To Calculate Your BMI

There are two ways to determine body mass index. You either need to know how much you weigh in kilograms and how tall you are in meters, or how much you weigh in pounds and your height in inches.

  • Kilograms and Meters: Use the equation Kilograms (K) divided by Meters (m) squared.

K/(m^2)=BMI

  • If you do not know your weight in kilograms or your height in meters, then you can also calculate by taking your weight in pounds (P) and times it by 703. Then you take that total and divide it by your height in inches (i) squared. For instance:

(P*703)/(i^2)

Healthy BMI Weight Range for Average Person

  • BMI under 18.5: Underweight
  • BMI of 18.5 to 24.9: Healthy weight
  • BMI of 25.0 to 29.9: Overweight
  • BMI above 29.9: Obese

There Are Different Standards for Elderly Persons

  • BMI under 20: Malnourished and underweight
  • BMI 20 to 25: Consult a doctor about healthy weight range for you
  • BMI 25 to 29: Healthy weight
  • BMI 30 and above: Overweight and/or obese

As a person ages, the amount of fat on their body will increase, and their amount of muscle will decrease. One might assume, an older adult should have a lower BMI; as a result, to make up for the fat gain and muscle loss, but this is not the case.

An older adult would be best to have a BMI between 25 and 29 rather than under 25, like the average population.

One reason for this is because the higher the BMI, the more protected one is from osteoporosis. Also, an older adult who has a BMI of 20 or less is considered malnourished, unlike 18.5 for the average person.

What Is Your BMI?

Exercises for Older Adults

Older adults often have limited mobility, but they must remain active. Here are some easy to do exercises, specially designed for those with limited mobility.

Tin Can Lift - Sit in a chair, take two tin cans and lift them above your head. Repeat six times (or reps), then rest, do two more sets of six.

Heel Raises - Stand in front of a counter. Rest your hands on the top of the counter to keep your balance, then raise your heels for three sets of six reps. If you feel any burning, it is okay to stop and slowly add more reps or sets until you can do the exercise in entirety without resting.

Wing Flaps - Take two tin cans while seated in a chair with your arms at your side. Raise your arms like a bird until parallel to the ground, then lower back to your side. Do three sets of six reps.

Runner Stretches - Hold onto the back of a chair or countertop with one hand. With the other hand, hold your heel to your back thigh with your knee pointing down. Count to ten, do three sets. Switch legs, and do three more sets.

There are many factors that determine your whether your weight is healthy, not just the number on the scale.

There are many factors that determine your whether your weight is healthy, not just the number on the scale.

Seated Exercises for Older Adults

Limitations to BMI as a Tool

As indicated earlier, there are some limitations to how accurate BMI is.

  • BMI does not differentiate muscle from fat: For this reason, a bodybuilder will often have a BMI in the obese range, yet be very healthy and at low risk for heart disease and cancers. If you are incredibly athletic or have a job that causes you to be very physical, then you may want to keep that into consideration. You can either have your body fat measured at a gym or rely on your waist to hip ratio, which should be less than 80 percent.
  • BMI does not keep in account body composition: Someone who gains their weight in their stomach may need to be on the lower end of average, due to the unhealthy fat that builds in the abdominal area. On the flip side, one who gains weight in their hips can be on the higher side of the healthy range.

Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind your lifestyle, the way your body is composed, and the way you feel to help determine whether you are at a healthy weight. If you feel great, exercise often, and your waist is thin, then you do not need to worry about the number on your scale or your BMI. On the other hand, if you do not exercise, you are exhausted walking upstairs, then you may want to change the way you live.

Sources

  • How to Calculate BMI | Healthfully
    Body Mass Index, abbreviated BMI, is a simple way to screen for possible weight problems. While BMI does not match actual body fat percentage, it is a fairly reliable way of estimating this figure. Even though a resulting BMI may indicate riskier lev
  • The Ideal Height, Weight & BMI | Healthfully
    Your body mass index, or BMI, is a calculation of your weight relative to your height. It helps you and your healthcare provider evaluate whether you're at a healthy weight or at risk of disease due to being overweight or obese. If you fall within a

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: I’m 71. How much should I weigh?

Answer: Unfortunately, without being given your gender and your height, I cannot say whether your BMI falls within a healthy range. Your BMI can be as high as 29 and be considered healthy. The best way to know is to ask your doctor. I am not a medical professional. In all honesty, I do not believe that your BMI should be your main concern. Eating healthy and getting exercise is key at any age.

Question: I'm 18 years and 1.55 m. How much should I weigh to be considered healthy?

Answer: According to most BMI charts, 18-24 kg. I would spend less time thinking about the chart and what you are supposed to be and focus more on what you are eating and if you are exercising. You could be smack dab in the middle of that and be very unhealthy because of poor eating habits while you could be above that and be healthy because you have a lot of muscle. If you know you are unhealthy, then you could use those guidelines as a goal, but you will know that you are healthy without stepping on the scale.

© 2013 Angela Michelle Schultz

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