Knowing correct weight for height (i.e., "ideal body weight) is not as simplistic as looking at a height and weight chart, like the USCP Height & Weight Chart below, since your ideal body weight, really, healthy weight is determined by more than your height or average height and weight statistics.
However, it also may not be wise to consider yourself in the “safe zone” just because your age, height and weight are consistent with the average height and weight of your peers.
If you’ve used a height and weight table or age and weight chart to identify your target weight zone, whether you fall inside or outside of it, you may need to reconsider a few things.
Although knowing your "ideal" body weight, won't help you identify which women's clothing will "look best" on your "body type", there are some important things to consider regarding your healthy weight for your height.
1. People who use a healthy weight chart usually fail to follow, completely, the directions for using the "ideal" body weight tables (see below for an example…we’ll be posting additional ones in the future).
2. What is now frequently called "ideal" body weight was originally referred to as “desirable” weight…which is at least less assuming than the new lingo.
3. When insurance companies created the concept of height and weight charts, they were doing one of the things that they do best…minimizing their risk by using simplistic, oftentimes, unnecessarily exclusive qualification standards.
4. Healthy weight, sometimes also referred to as, "ideal" body weight, is determined by more than height and age…fat distribution, body composition, conditioning and lifestyle are all important factors when it comes to identifying your correct weight and not even a complex healthy weight chart can really determine that.
There are actually people whose weight falls outside of the “safe” zone for their height because they are quite muscular (e.g., "mesomorph" body types) and muscle weighs more than fat.
However, they are usually at a healthy weight for them, especially if they have a physically demanding career which makes the added weight and strength a plus (e.g., professional football players, fire fighters, roller derby skaters :) ).
Why height and weight charts aren't always your best option for finding your healthy weight :)...the woman on the left may fall outside of the healthy weight for her height because she is muscular, but it doesn't mean she's unhealthy. The model above probably has a good waist to hip ratio and may be healthier than a woman with a high waist to hip ratio (excess weight in waist area compared to hips).
There are also people who may fall outside the “ideal” zone without having "mesomorph"
body types, but who’s waist-to-hip ratio is good (e.g., they aren’t
carrying the bulk of the weight in their waist compared to the weight
they carry in their hips…"pear shape body" versus "apple shaped body").
Their fitness and conditioning may also be great. Chances are this person is much better off than their de-conditioned, slender, yet over-fat neighbor who carries most of their weight in their mid-section.
When measured accurately, your body composition and waist-to-hip ratio
(click here to see how) can communicate more to you about your health than Metropolitan Life’s
Height and Weight Charts or any one else’s "ideal" body weight charts. They provide a better indication of what your correct weight for height is.
Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) can also be helpful.
Try some of the following resources or contact your local college’s department of kinesiology or a local gym and let them take your measurements.
They can help you identity your unique, correct weight for height or healthy weight and offer useful feedback that can help guide your fitness and wellness goals, along with your professional ones…people who are in better physical condition tend to perform better on the job than those employees who possess low fitness levels. Be sure to track your progress.