Body Surface Area (BSA)

Body Surface Area or BSA is not a measurement used commonly in fitness assessment, but is a common measure in the medical field and part of the complete body size and composition profile. Various BSA formulas have been developed over the years, originally by Dr.s Du Bois & Du Bois, followed by Gehan and George, Haycock, Boyd and Mosteller.

The formula shown below give slightly different results - the formula by Mosteller is the simplest and can be memorized and easily calculated with a hand-held calculator, and therefore is the most used and is recommended.

purpose: body surface area is used in the medical field when calculating drug doses, though is relevant to sports when looking at responses to the heat and cold.

equipment required: scales for measuring weight, stadiometer for measuring height, calculator for working out the formula.

procedure: determine height and weight using standard procedures. Use the relevant formula (whether you used kg/cm or lbs/in). A calculator is available to convert cm and inches and convert kg and lbs.

formula: This is the formula by Mosteller (1987):

if using cm and kilograms:
BSA (m²) = ( [Height(cm) x Weight(kg) ]/ 3600 )^½
e.g. BSA = SQRT( (cm*kg)/3600 )

if using inches and pounds:
BSA (m²) = ( [Height(in) x Weight(lbs) ]/ 3131 )^½

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