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How to Calculate BMI in Excel

By Kathryn Vera ; Updated July 18, 2017

BMI -- or Body Mass Index -- is a calculation that uses an individual's height and weight to determine body fatness and risks for certain diseases. The greater the BMI, the more likely an individual is to suffer from certain types of chronic or acute medical conditions. Though there are a number of online calculators that can determine BMI, some individuals may wish to create their own spreadsheet. Be sure to obtain accurate measurements for height and weight first.

Set up headings in an Excel spreadsheet. Place the following headings under columns A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, and F1, respectively: Participant name, Weight (lbs), Weight (kgs), Height (in), Height (m) and BMI. At this time, consider entering the names of all individuals who want to know their BMIs under the heading A, "Participant name." Those who wish to make the data more legible may want to highlight or bold the table headings listed above.

Determine body weight. For the sake of ease, obtain everyone's weight in pounds by weighing them one at a time on a bathroom scale. Place the measured weight for each individual under column B, "Weight (lbs)." To ensure the most accurate BMI calculation, attempt to obtain weight measurements early in the morning, before participants have eaten breakfast.

Convert body weight in pounds to kilograms. Place the cursor in the first empty box under column C, which is "Weight (kgs)", and enter the following: =B2/2.2. According to the American Council on Exercise, 2.2 is the conversion factor. Click on the square in the lower right-hand corner of box C2, and drag down to copy the equation for all participants.

Determine body height. Request all participants to remove their shoes for the most accurate measurement possible. Using a tape measure, ruler, wall-mounted device, or other similar measuring tool, obtain the height in inches for all individuals interested in learning their BMI. Enter the values for each participant under column D, "Height (in)".

Convert height in inches to meters squared. Place the cursor in the first empty box under column E, "Height (m)", and enter the following: =(D2 * 0.0254)(D2 0.0254). Click on the square on the bottom right-hand corner of box E2, and drag down to copy the equation for all participants.

Calculate BMI. Place the cursor in the first empty box under column F for "BMI" and enter the following: =C2/E2. Click on the bottom right-hand corner of box F2, and drag down to copy the equation for all participants. Look up the BMI in a table to determine body mass index status. See the resources section for this information.

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