Be Well

Getting the measure of your body

So this is interesting! For decades, the Body Mass Index (BMI) has been the go-to metric for assessing weight and its connection to health risks. I’ve certainly had mine calculated, and done it myself, in recent years. You can calculate your own BMI now, on this Victorian Government website.

However, BMI’s limitations – its reliance solely on weight and height – have been increasingly challenged. Enter the Body Roundness Index (BRI), a newer contender vying for the title of a more accurate health indicator.

The BMI: A simple but flawed tool

BMI is undeniably easy to calculate, requiring only weight and height. However, it fails to account for body composition. A muscular athlete might have a high BMI categorized as “overweight” despite having low body fat. Conversely, someone with a lower BMI could have a higher percentage of body fat, a significant health concern.

BRI: Offering a more nuanced picture

The BRI was proposed in 2013, and yes, it’s taken a while to get traction! BRI incorporates additional measurements like waist and sometimes hip circumference. This approach aims to provide a more accurate picture of body shape and fat distribution.

Recent research is promising. Studies show BRI might be a better predictor of health risks like heart disease, diabetes, and even gallstones compared to BMI. Research published in 2021 demonstrated BRI’s superior ability to predict cardiometabolic risk factors compared to BMI, and a 2024 study found BRI to be significantly better than BMI in predicting gallstones.

Is BRI ready for prime time?

While promising, BRI research is still in its early stages. BRI is still a novel technique that needs further validation, which explains why it’s far from commonplace today. Additionally, there are currently no established BRI cut-off points for health risk categories, as with BMI.

Enter Syku: a multi-faceted approach

At Be Well, your membership includes our signature Well On Track service:

  • a comprehensive Assessment with one of our physiotherapists

  • a 12-week Roadmap to improved health & wellbeing, based on that assessment

  • a Follow-Up review every 12 weeks, to assess progress and update your next Roadmap.

Your assessment and follow-up includes a Styku scan. Styku uses non-invasive infrared, to take around 850 images of your body while you rotate on a turntable. body The result is a detailed 3D image of your body, giving you a unique, detailed – even startling! – view of your body shape.

Styku measures circumferences like waist, hip, chest, neck and arms. It reports on your total weight, body fat% and lean mass%, bone mass %, subcutaneous and visceral fat, and more.

By doing regular scans every 12 weeks, you get visual data about your progress, which is a great motivator.  As with the Styku, all the elements, including technology, at Be Well has been extensively researched and carefully curated to optimise your health and longevity. There is no longer any need to use crude measures like BMI and BRI.

Look forward to seeing you again soon at Be Well.

PS: I am very excited about our Be Well Conversation on Thursday evening, and special Winter Solstice Yoga on Friday evening. More info below. See you there!

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.