Life Insurance
How Do I Calculate My Body Mass Index (BMI)?
How Do I Calculate My Body Mass Index (BMI)?
08 May 2023

Have you heard the words “body mass index”, also known as BMI, tossed around and wondered what it means? We’re here to explain what it is, why it’s important and how you can calculate it.

What is BMI?

BMI is a measurement used to determine a person's body fat based on their height and weight. It's a simple and effective way to identify whether someone is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. BMI is an important indicator of your health as it can help you assess your risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

How Do I Calculate My BMI?


To calculate your BMI, measure your height in meters, then measure your weight in kilograms. Next, take your weight and divide it by the sum of your height squared. (The square is essentially your height times height.)

In short, this is the formula to calculate your BMI:

BMI = weight (kg) / height² (m²)


For example, if you weigh 55 kg and your height is 1.6 meters, your BMI would be calculated as follows:


55 kg / (1.6 m x 1.6m = 2.56)

55kg / 2.56m = 21.48

Alternatively, you can use our simple BMI calculator over here.

Where Do You Fall On The Scale?


Once you have calculated your BMI, you’ll know where you fall on the BMI scale. The scale ranges from underweight (less than 18.5) to normal weight (between 18.5 and 24.9), overweight (between 25 and 29.9), and obese (30 or greater).

Something to note, BMI is not always accurate for individuals who are pregnant or have a lot of muscle mass as muscle weighs more than fat.

Why Would MiWayLife Want To Know My BMI?

Life insurance companies typically require health-related information to assess your risk and determine your premium rates. BMI is one of several factors their underwriters consider when assessing the risk of an applicant because it can indicate the applicant’s risk of developing health issues later on that could increase their risk of passing away earlier than someone who is in good health.

Can I Still Get Life Insurance With A High BMI?


An applicant who has a healthy BMI may be eligible for lower premium rates or higher coverage amounts because they’re considered to have a lower risk of developing potentially life-threatening health conditions. If you have a high BMI, your insurance company isn’t likely to reject your application due to that information alone, but they may charge you a higher premium rate or offer a lower coverage amount.

Ultimately, maintaining a healthy BMI will do a world of good for your health but it can also reward you financially in regards to lower medical bills and lower life insurance premiums. So here’s to eating healthfully and hitting the gym!

Need more information on MiWayLife? Read about our life insurance product, or get a life insurance quote in 30 seconds. Alternatively, call us on 0860 64 54 33 .
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Terms and conditions apply. Eligibility, cover and benefits are determined on individual risk profile. MiWayLife is an authorised FSP (No. 45741) and its product offering is underwritten by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a registered long-term insurer. MiWayLife is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited - Reg No. 1998/021121/06