Measuring left skinfold by using calipers and the Durnin-Womersley body fat formula

The Fitties Blog

How to Calculate Body Fat Using the Durnin-Womersley Body Fat Formula

April 15, 2023 | Lifestyle and Wellness

The Durnin-Womersley body fat formula is among the more popular body fat calculation techniques because of the method’s rather simple equations. Developed in 1974 by J. V. G. A. Durnin and J. Womersley, this method utilizes four skinfold measurements, which are the same for both males and females, to estimate body fat percentages. The formulas were originally created through a study of 481 individuals with ages that ranged from 16 to 72. The Durnin-Womersley study was later published via the British Journal of Nutrition in 1974.

Considering the wide variety of subjects tested through Durnin and Womersley’s original study, this method is beneficial for nearly anyone who wants to estimate body fat percentage. However, because of the range of individuals utilized in the design, as well as the overall simplicity of the formulas, the results from the Durnin-Womersley body fat test tend to be slightly less accurate when compared to results from other methods of measuring body fat. Furthermore, athletes and extremely fit individuals occasionally report inaccurate body fat estimations because of the formulas’ core fundamentals. Therefore, while the Durnin-Womersley method is good for generalizing body fat percentage in the average person, it shouldn’t be relied upon to give extremely accurate body fat results. Although, the method should help just about anyone better understand their overall level of health and fitness.

If you need help with measuring body fat with calipers, be sure to check out our guide.

Durnin-Womersley Body Fat Formula Skinfold Locations

  • Tricep: The tricep skinfold measurement involves a vertical fold that is taken midway between the upper portion of the shoulder (acromion process) and the elbow (olecranon process). To obtain an accurate measurement, have the subject stand with their arm relaxed and hanging down by their side. Pinch the skinfold vertically and lift it away from the underlying muscle.
  • Bicep: Bicep: The bicep skinfold measurement consists of a vertical fold parallel to the arm. It is located directly over the bicep muscle, halfway between the top of the shoulder and the elbow joint. As with the tricep measurement, have the subject stand with their arm relaxed and hanging down by their side. Gently pinch the skinfold and lift it away from the underlying muscle for an accurate reading.
  • Subscapular: The subscapular skinfold measurement is taken at the lower tip of the scapula (shoulder blade). To find this location, have the subject stand with their arm relaxed by their side, then palpate the lower tip of the scapula. The skinfold should be taken at a 45-degree angle, approximately two centimeters below the tip of the scapula, and should be roughly parallel to the inner angle of the shoulder blade.
  • Suprailiac: For the suprailiac skinfold measurement, first locate the anterior (front) part of the axilla (armpit). From there, follow a vertical line downward towards the hip until the iliac crest is reached. The skinfold at this location should be taken at a 45-degree angle, going up and away from the body, approximately two inches above the iliac crest (the upper and forward protrusion of the hip bone). Specifically, the skinfold is positioned between the upper portion of the hipbone on the side of the body and the bony part of the same hipbone along the lower right side of the body.

Durnin-Womersley Body Fat Formula for Males and Females

If you would like to calculate body fat using the Durnin-Womersley method, use whichever formula corresponds to the test subject’s age and gender.

Measure the following skinfolds (in millimeters) with body fat calipers:
TricepBicep, Subscapular and Suprailiac

Age (in years) Equations for Males Equations for Females
< 17 D = 1.1533 – (0.0643 X L) D = 1.1369 – (0.0598 X L)
17-19 D = 1.1620 – (0.0630 X L) D = 1.1549 – (0.0678 X L)
20-29 D = 1.1631 – (0.0632 X L) D = 1.1599 – (0.0717 X L)
30-39 D = 1.1422 – (0.0544 X L) D = 1.1423 – (0.0632 X L)
40 -49 D = 1.1620 – (0.0700 X L) D = 1.1333 – (0.0612 X L)
> 50 D = 1.1715 – (0.0779 X L) D = 1.1339 – (0.0645 X L)

(D= Body Density; L= Log of the sum of skinfolds)

Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450

Fitties Supplements to Help Lower Body Fat

While using the Durnin-Womersley body fat formula to track your progress, you may want to consider incorporating supplements into your routine to help lower body fat more effectively. Fitties offers a range of supplements that can support your body composition goals, enhance your overall health, and improve your fitness performance. Here are three Fitties supplements to consider:


FitProbio+ is a potent probiotic supplement that features patented HOWARU® Shape Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis B420, a strain specifically designed to support healthy body composition. This powerful formula not only enhances gut barrier function but also reduces body fat mass and encourages fewer calorie consumption.

To ensure optimal effectiveness, FitProbio+ utilizes DRcaps™ gastro-resistant capsules for targeted release and resistance to low pH levels. Each capsule is sealed in a nitrogen-purged blister pack, providing protection from heat, moisture, and oxygen.


FitFast is an ideal supplement for those looking to reach their body composition goals more efficiently. This powerful blend contains natural berberine and InSea2®, a clinically proven combination of polyphenols extracted from wildcrafted brown seaweed. FitFast supports healthy blood glucose levels and a balanced glycemic response to food, making it a valuable addition to your body fat reduction plan.


FitFight is a robust blend of amino acids, such as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, DL-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine, and L-Glutamine, combined with chromium to support your weight management journey. This comprehensive supplement helps control cravings, boosts mood, and promotes healthy glucose metabolism for a well-rounded approach to achieving your body composition goals.

In conclusion, the Durnin-Womersley body fat formula provides a reliable method for tracking body fat changes as you progress towards your goals. Combining this approach with Fitties supplements like FitProbio+, FitFast, and FitFight can help you optimize your efforts to lower body fat and achieve a healthier, fitter physique.

Expand your health and fitness knowledge

Uncover a world of knowledge with Fitties' curated blogs, each offering targeted advice and inspiration to elevate your health, fitness, and lifestyle.

  • Closeup of female scooping FitWhey+

    Supplements and Nutrition

    Navigate the nutritional landscape with expert insights and practical advice on supplements and diets for optimal health and peak performance.

    Explore Guides
  • Fitties Brand Ambassador couple

    Fitness and Training

    Revolutionize your fitness game with unique strategies and inspiration to help you achieve your personal best, no matter where you start.

    Explore Guides
  • Senior male mixing salad in kitchen

    Lifestyle and Wellness

    Tap into practical tips, tricks, and wellness fundamentals for a more balanced and health-focused lifestyle.

    Explore Guides