Online Body Fat Percentage Calculator

Use this online body fat calculator to workout out your body’s total percentage of fat.


Inches cm

The formulas used for calculating body fat percentage are based on the US Army, Navy and Marine Corp standards for determining personnel fitness. The US Department of Defense use the test for recruitment, promotion and as part of an annual fitness check.

Instruction for taking measurements for the Body Fat Calculator

  • Take the neck measurement just below the adam’s apple
  • For men, take the waist measurement at the level of the belly button at the end of a normal relaxed exhalation.
  • For women, measure the waist at the slimmest point, usually somewhere above the belly button. Take at the end of a normal relaxed exhalation.
  • Women only – take the hip measurement at the point of the greatest circumference.

You can enter your measurements in imperial (inches), metric (cms) or a combination of both. The Body Fat Calculator will automatically convert between inches and cm.

Is the body fat measurement percentage accurate?

Body circumference measurement is not as accurate as other more involved methods such as hydrostatic weighing, where your weight is measured while your body is fully submerged in a tank of water. As you can imagine, hydrostatic weighing is very inconvenient and expensive compared to just using circumference measurements.

However, if you want to monitor physique and physical fitness improvements following changes to your life style (see How to be a Slim Person – Why Diets Don’t Work), the body fat calculator is a great indicator of your progress, better than measuring your weight. The US military consider that weight loss is less important than reducing your body fat.

What should your body fat percentage be?

Above 25% for men and 32% for women is considered obese. Athletes tend to have a range of 6 – 13% for men and 14 – 20% for women.


How to be a Slim Person – Why Diets Don’t Work
US Department of Defense – Physical Fitness and Body Fat Program – Directive
US Department of Defense – Physical Fitness and Body Fat Program – Instructions
Wikipedia – Body fat percentage

Top Ten Games to Play in the Car With Your Kids

Every parent on a long car trip with their kids has had the incessant “are we nearly there yet?” question thrown at them, or in the case of my youngest; “How many more minutes is it?”, usually asked shortly after we’ve set off. When your children are beyond toddlerdom, the usual car games for kids like “I Spy” and “Count the Cows” just will not do. Here’s a list of six games to play in the car that will keep everyone, including the adults, amused for hours on end.

  1. Once upon a time…
    Start off with an opener like “Once upon a time there was a princess call Smelly Toes” Each person then takes it in turns to make up the next sentence in the story. The more off the wall the better. This is a great car game to play for developing your kids’ imagination.

  2. XXX’s Got Talent Game
    Insert your country or family name above. This is a car version of the popular TV Franchise. The game is best if there are at least four people in the car. Here’s what you do: Firstly, decide who the three judges will be and who will be the first contestant. Each judge should pretend to be a person from the actual show. The contestant then performs an act of their choosing, such as singing, animal noises, playing a tune through your nose, etc. A judge can buzz off a particularly bad act before it has finished! At the end of the act, each judge gives their opinion using the persona of the judge in the show, and decides whether the contestant will go through to the final. After each go, switch the judges and contestant round until every one has performed. The best part of this game is the judging!

  3. I went to the Shops and bought a…
    To start off the game, the first person must think of an object beginning with the letter ‘A’, for example. avocado, and then say “I went to the shops and bought an avocado”. The next person has to think up an object beginning with ‘B’, e.g. blueberry pie and say “I went to the shops and bought an avacado and a blueberry pie”. This carries on until you get to ‘Z’! You can vary the game by substituting a Zoo for the Shop etc.

  4. Make up a Song Contest
    Half of the car are the singers and the other half are the judges. One of the judges decides the topic of the song that the contestants are going to sing, for example, ‘The Beach’. The contestants take it in turns to make up a song about that topic and then each judge gives their comments on the song and gives a vote of 1 to 10 points. The judges and contestants then swap round and the winner of each round goes through to the final.

  5. Hangman
    Like the paper version of the game, Player One thinks of a word and the others take it in turns to guess a letter or the actual word. Player one will say whether or not the letter is in the word and if so, the position(s) of the letter. If you get to ten (or fifteen depending on the age of the kids) incorrect guesses for the letter/word, Player One wins. The winner of the game then takes the lead.

  6. The Bad Answer Game
    Player One thinks of an object, place or person. The others take it in turns to guess what it is. At the start of each turn, Player One has to give a clue that must be correct, but should be as bad, vague or silly as possible so that it is hard to guess. For example a clue for “Chocolate” might be “Auntie Jo likes it”. If no one guesses it after twenty answers, Player One wins; otherwise, it goes to the person that guessed correctly.

  7. Twenty Questions

    The classic game where one person thinks of something that is animal, vegetable or mineral and the others take it in turns to ask a question or guess the answer.

  8. The Yes/No Game

    Take it in turns to have one person asking questions and one answering. The person answering the questions has to reply without saying yes or no. The fun is trying to trick them into saying yes or no.

  9. Radio Phone-in Game

    One person thinks of a topic for example, “Should twelve year olds be allowed to stay up until whenever they like?” and the others take it in turns to phone in to give their reasons why they should or shouldn’t.

  10. Guess the Accent

    Each person takes it in turns to put on a foreign accent and the others have to guess which country they are from.

How to Fix Intermittent Dimming of Headlights on a Toyota Avalon

I have a 2001 Toyota Avalon and for over a year I had a very annoying intermittent electrical problem. Most of the time the car was OK, but occasionally when driving at night, the headlights would dim out for a second. In the day or at night the radio would cut out momentarily with the dashboard display blanking out; also, the interior clock back light would switch off. The problem seemed to be worse when braking or when putting the foot on the accelerator. When the car electrics were about to misbehave, there was usually a whining noise from the engine bay.

Sometimes the problem would go away for several weeks and at other times the cut outs would occurs every thirty seconds. Of course, the Law of Sod dictated that whenever I took the car to the garage it would work perfectly.

I went to a so called car electrical specialist. He said that it was very difficult to fix a problem if he couldn’t see it, but in his opinion the alternator needed replacing. To me, this seemed like the most plausible explanation; after all, the whining sound that accompanied the cut-outs seemed to indicate an alternator problem. Ka-ching, a couple of hundred bucks was handed over for the fitting of a reconditioned alternator. This seemed to work for a few weeks, then the problem came back. I took the car back to the specialist; he then suggested trying to changing the battery (ka-ching) to see if that fixes it.

The guy obviously didn’t have a clue what he was doing. So I decided to investigate the problem myself. After a search on the internet I discovered that this was an all too common issue. Some people had spent thousands of dollars replacing alternators, regulators and batteries all to no avail. However, there did not seem to be a definite solution.

Cause of the Intermittent Electrical Failure

On further reading, it seemed that a possible cause for this problem could be bad earthing. Earth cables carry electrical current back to the negative terminal of the car battery. If you look in the engine bay of your car, you will see a number of earthing cables connecting various components to the chassis and the battery. Good earthing is important because a car’s electrical system needs to be able to deal with very high currents.

Poor earthing is caused by a dirty contact or fraying of a cable, which increases the resistance of the electrical path back to the battery. The voltage across it will rise in proportion to the current multiplied by the resistance of the path (Ohms law). This voltage drop is what cause the headlights to dim since the more voltage that is dropped across the earth connection, the less voltage is available to power the headlights and other car components.

Ohms Law:

I.R = V

The two main components that generate and use large amounts of current are the alternator and starter motor. The starter motor only drains current when you are turning over the engine with the ignition key, so this is unlikely to be causing the issue. The current generated by the alternator varies with the engine revs. As the power failure seemed to tie in with revving the engine, it was likely the earthing of the alternator was causing the trouble.

How to Diagnose Earthing Cable Problems in Your Car

OK, we think the problem is earthing. Like me, you may have already parted with some hard earn cash and are reluctant to go around replacing all the earth cables in the car in the hope that this may fix it. What you really want to do is:-

a) Absolutely prove that earthing is the issue.

b) Work out which cable or cables in the car are causing the earthing problem.

The problem can be easily diagnosed in less than three minutes be using a simple voltmeter that can be bought from any DIY store for $10.

You will need to check the car when it is failing. I would suggest carrying the voltmeter in the car with you on journeys so that you can stop the car when it is being troublesome and test the electrics. Fortunately for me, the car started failing regularly one time when I got home.

Make sure that you have a partner or friend that can tap the accelerator to make the electrics fail.

Switch the headlights on and pop open the hood.

The first thing to do is to check that the battery is OK. A standard car battery gives out about 12 to 13 Volts, so set the range on the voltmeter to measure more than this. Put the negative black wire of the voltmeter on the negative terminal of the battery, better still, connect it to the negative battery terminal with a crocodile clip so you don’t have to hold it on. Put the positive red wire of the voltmeter on the positive terminal of the battery. You should see a fairly steady 12 Volts on the meter. Get your partner to rev the engine to make the electrics fail. On my car, the battery voltage was rock steady even when the headlights dimmed right down. This proved that there was nothing wrong with the battery. Two fingers up to the electrical expert who wanted to replace the battery (maybe just one finger in your culture).

The next thing to do is to prove that there is actually an earthing problem. If all points in the engine bay are properly grounded, current will flow back to battery without raising the voltage between the earthed point and the negative battery terminal by more than a fraction of a volt (about 0.2 volts). If there is poor earthing, then the increase in the current flowing back to the battery will cause the voltage to rise by over a volt.

Keep the black wire of the meter on the car battery terminal. Put the red wire of the meter on the metal casing of the alternator and get your friend to rev the engine. On my car, the voltage measured on the meter popped up to 3 volts. This proved that earthing was the problem.

I noticed that there was a black earth wire bolted to the body of the engine adjacent to where the battery was located (see picture). I measured the voltage drop on this wire to the battery. Again the voltage drop went up to 3 volts when the accelerator was pressed.

Faulty Avalon Grounding Cable

Faulty Avalon Grounding Cable

This wire went under the battery and connected to a junction point with another wire going from the junction point directly to the battery. Therefore we had a short, direct, all copper connection back to battery. There is no way that there should be 3 volts across this connection. The problem had to here.

How to fix the Car Earthing Connection

I unbolted the cables, cleaned the contacts for each wire using steel wool and reassembled. Unfortunately, this did not work, the electric started cutting out again within the week. There had to be a problem inside one of the cables.

I replaced both the cables with nice thick battery lead cables from the local auto store (see picture). The original ones seemed a bit thin to me considering how much current they needed to carry.

Fixed Avalon Grounding Cables

Fixed Avalon Grounding Cables

This fixed the issue permanently, six months on the car has never had any re-occurrences of the cut out.

Happy motoring.