Body Mass Index, or BMI, has become the most popular way to determine if an individual is within a healthy weight range, but the calculation isn’t exactly simple: your weight in pounds is multiplied by 703 and then divided by your height in inches squared. Tired of reaching for a calculator, a University of Nevada professor decided to come up with an easier option, in terms of both math and commitment.
“We need a Maximum Weight Limit, or MWL; one number that we know we can’t go over, just like a speed limit,” explained George Fernandez, who believes that BMI is too taxing for the average person to calculate, not to mention that its range isn’t exactly memorable or compelling. He has discovered a way to calculate a Maximum Weight Limit, based on BMI standards but calculable in your head instead of on a computer.
MWL offers a baseline height and weight: for men, it’s 5’9″ and a maximum weight of 175 pounds, while for women, it’s 5′ and 125 pounds. From there, you add or subtract 5 pounds if you’re a man or 4.5 pounds if you’re a woman for each inch you’re taller or shorter. So, for example, if you’re female and 5’4 (the approximate height of the average American woman), your MWL is 143.
“Now people can calculate their own Maximum Weight Limit, based on the BMI index, but without any calculators or charts,” Fernandez said. “And, all they have to remember is that one number … which is easier for most people than retaining a weight range.”
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