Body Mass Index (BMI) Measurement in Schools - Safeguard 4
Safeguard 4. Use equipment that can accurately and reliably measure height and weight.
The preferred equipment to assess students’ weight is an electronic or beam balance scale that is properly calibrated to the nearest one-fourth pound according to the manufacturer’s directions.1 Spring balance scales, such as bathroom scales, are not sufficiently accurate. The preferred equipment to assess height is a stadiometer, a wall-mounted or portable unit solely designed to measure height to the nearest one-eighth inch.1 The stadiometer can include a vertical board, metric tape, and horizontal headpiece that slides down to measure height. All equipment can be maintained and calibrated regularly.1
Source: Nihiser AJ, Lee SM, Wechsler H, McKenna M, Odom E, Reinold C, Thompson D, Grummer-Strawn L. Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools. Journal of School Health. 2007; 77:651-671.external icon
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Research and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Growth charts training: accurate weighing and measuring. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2006. Available at: depts.washington.edu/growth/external icon.