Navy Body Fat Calculator

Calculate body fat according to U.S. Navy standards using the calculator below.

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How to Calculate Body Fat

The U.S. Navy has strict standards for body composition to remain on active duty service. The Navy Physical Fitness Assessment is a two-part assessment, including the Body Composition Assessment and the Physical Readiness Test.

Guide 4 and NAVADMIN 178-15 define the maximum weight and specific body fat percentage standards for a Sailor’s age and gender.[1][2]

You’ll need a few body measurements to calculate body fat percentage using the U.S. Navy standard. First, take the measurements below using the instructions outlined in Guide 4. Then, use the formulas below to calculate body fat percentage.

Height: measured while standing straight without shoes. Per Guide 4, the member will stand on a flat surface, at attention, with head held horizontal, looking directly forward, with the line of vision horizontal, and the chin parallel to the deck.

Neck: circumference measured just below the larynx, or Adam’s apple, and perpendicular to the neck.

Waist: abdominal circumference measured on bare skin, across the naval, and with the member’s arms down on the sides. The measurement is taken at the end of a normal exhalation.

Hips: circumference while facing the member’s right side by placing the tape around the hips so that it passes over the greatest protrusion of the gluteus muscles (buttocks) as viewed from the side.

The body fat formula produces an estimated body fat percentage and may be generally used as an affordable and easy method to estimate one’s body fat percentage.

Skin calipers may provide slightly more accurate measurements, but they can be painful. Methods such as hydrostatic weighing or X-ray scans directly measure body fat percentage and provide more accurate results. However, these methods can be expensive and require specialized equipment.

Body Fat Formula for Males

The U.S. Navy uses the following formula to calculate male body fat percentage:[3]

% body fat = [86.010 × log10(waist – neck)] – [70.041 × log10(height)] + 36.76

The estimated male body fat percentage is equal to 86.010 times log10 of the waist minus the neck circumference, minus 70.041 times log10 of the height, plus 36.76.

The U.S. Navy has developed charts based on height in inches versus the circumference value to quickly calculate an estimated body fat percentage. The circumference value is the difference between the abdominal and neck circumference measurements in inches: abdominal – neck = CV.

The men’s body fat chart is located in Table 2 of Guide 4.[1]

Body Fat Formula for Females

The Navy uses the following formula to calculate female body fat percentage:

% body fat = [163.205 × log10(waist + hip – neck)] – [97.684 × log10(height)] – 78.387

Female body fat percentage is equal to 163.205 times log10 of the waist plus the hip minus the neck circumference, minus 97.684 times log10 of the height, plus 78.387.

Table 3 in Guide 4 contains the charts for estimating women’s body fat percentage using height in inches vs. the circumference value.[1] The circumference value for women is calculated by adding the waist and hip circumferences before subtracting the neck circumference: Waist + Hips – Neck = CV. All circumferences are in inches.

U.S. Navy Body Fat Standards

The Navy requires all sailors to complete an official BCA conducted by a designated Command Fitness Leader (CFL) before taking the PRT.[4] A sailor must be less than or equal to the maximum weight for the measured height (see Table 1).[1] If a sailor exceeds the maximum weight, the CFL measures the Sailor’s abdominal circumference.

The CFL references an abdominal circumference vs. height table that estimates body fat composition (See Table 2 for Men and Table 3 for Women).[1] If the abdominal measurement falls within the body fat percentage guidelines, the Sailor passes the BCA.

If the abdominal measurement for males exceeds 39 inches or 35.5 inches for females, the CFL performs a series of body composition measurements that include ratios between the circumferences of the neck to the waist or hips (Section 1: BCA Standards, Part 2b and 2c).[1] If a sailor fails the body composition measurements, he or she fails the BCA.

Failing the BCA triggers an overall failure of the Physical Fitness Assessment, but the Sailor must still participate in the PRT with a required medical clearance. The Sailor is required to participate in a remedial program called the Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) until they pass a PFA within standards.

The standards for the maximum percentage of body fat, as defined in NAVADMIN 178-15, are shown in the table below.

Maximum body fat percentage requirements for male and female sailors defined in Guide 4.
Age Male Female
18-21 22% 33%
22-29 23% 34%
30-39 24% 35%
40 and older 26% 36%

You might also be interested in our Army body fat calculator.

References

  1. U.S. Navy, Navy Physical Readiness Program - Guide 4 - Body Composition Assessment (BCA), Jan 2023, https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55/Support/21stCenturySailor/Physical/Guide_4-Body_Composition_Assessment_BCA_JAN_2023.pdf?ver=V-3wCu5X586wXMTCa4C2ag%3d%3d
  2. U.S. Navy, NAVADMIN 178-15 Physical Readiness Program Policy Changes, August 2015, https://www.navyfitness.org/fitness/cfl-information/navadmins/navadmin-178-15-prp-policy-changes
  3. Abida Shaheen, Nismat Javed, Fahad Azam, Afrose Liaquat, Moosa Khan, Syed Mahboob Alam, and Sana Mumtaz, Comparison of Bioelectrical Impedance and Navy Seal Formula to Measure Body Composition in Medical Students, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6650177/#REF10
  4. Department of the Navy - Chief of Naval Operations, OPNAVINST 6110.1K - Physical Readiness Program, April 22, 2022, https://www.navyfitness.org/modules/media/?do=download&id=fa75549c-4491-4ddc-bcba-9bdaa7c784b8