Ponderal Index Calculator | Rohrer's Index

Ponderal Index Calculator | Rohrer's Index

Ponderal Index Calculator


PI RangeInterpretation
8 - 11Underweight
11 - 15Normal
15 - 17Overweight or Pre-obese
PI RangeInterpretation
< 2.2Underweight
2.2 - 3Normal

Consult Your Doctors for Further Investigation

Ponderal Index Calculator

  • The Ponderal Index calculator also known as PI Calculator helps you to find the valuation of your ponderal index using your height and weight ratio.
  • The Ponderal Index is a measure of the distribution of body type. 
  • The ponderal index, also known as a corpulence index or Rohrer's index, can help you determine if you are overweight, underweight, or just right, as the BMI value does. 
  • However, PI has higher sensitivity and specificity, so if you are a tall person, your BMI may show that you are obese, but it's not necessarily true.


Steps To Calculate Ponderal Index

  1. Choose Body Type: Adult or Child
  2. Enter the Height in cm
  3. Enter the Weight in kg
  4. Calculate Ponderal Index Calculation


Ponderal Index Formula

Here is a formula to calculate Ponderal Index 

Ponderal Index = weight / height³


Ponderal Index For Adult 

  • For adults, the basic weight unit in PI calculation is kg, and height is expressed in meters. 
  • For infants and newborn babies, weight is usually shown in grams and height in centimeters:

PI_adult = weight [kg]/ height [m]³


Ponderal Index For Children

  • As you can easily notice, Rohrer's indices for adults and children differ by one order of magnitude. 
  • It rarely happens that children's index is calculated with the standard adult ponderal index formula.

PI_child = weight [g]/ height [cm]³ = 0.1 × PI_adult


Calculate Ponderal Index

  • The ponderal index uses height³ – which makes more sense as our bodies are 3-dimensional structures, not 2D.
  • The Ponderal Index (PI) is a measure of body size that is calculated by dividing the weight (in kilograms) of an individual by the cube of their height (in meters). 
  • It is used to determine if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese, and is considered to be a more accurate indicator of body size than body mass index (BMI) because it takes into account both weight and height. 
  • The normal range for PI is between 2.5 and 3.5. 
  • Values below 2.5 are considered to indicate underweight, values between 2.5 and 3.5 indicate normal weight and values above 3.5 indicate overweight or obesity.
  • Ponderal means estimated or ascertained by weight. 
  • The ponderal index is an improved version of body mass index – BMI uses height as the second power:


BMI = weight / height²


Normal Ponderal Index Range


For adults, a value of PI between 11 and 15 is considered normal weight.

PI Range





Normal weight






Ponderal Index Normal Range Table


For Infants & Children 

A value of between 2.2 and 3 is considered normal.

PI Range


2.2 - 3


  • A more complex interpretation of PI values requires data on sex and gestational age and comparison to reference data.
  • Compared to the BMI, the PI has higher sensitivity and specificity and is considered to yield valid results even for extreme values.
  • Infant formula is used in pediatrics to assess whether the newborn baby is malnourished, healthy, or overweight.


Limitations of the ponderal index

  • It does not differentiate between body types with different fat dispositions, for example between males and females.
  • The PI is not an absolute measurement, but an indicator.
  • It doesn’t account for body builds with more muscle so a person with a lot of muscle may be classed as overweight based only on weight and height proportion, not on muscle or fat percentage.
  • The Ponderal Index (PI) is considered to be an important measure for assessing body size because it takes into account both weight and height, which allows for a more accurate assessment of body size than body mass index (BMI) which only takes into account weight. 
  • This makes PI more appropriate for evaluating the body size of individuals who are taller or shorter than average, as well as for identifying individuals who may have a higher proportion of muscle mass or bone density.
  • Additionally, PI is also used in the diagnosis and management of certain medical conditions, such as congenital heart disease, kidney disease, and certain genetic disorders, where body size and proportions are important factors. 
  • It is also useful in the neonatal period and pediatric populations where body size and proportions are rapidly changing.
  • It is important to note that while PI may provide a more accurate measure of body size than BMI, it is still a limited measure and should not be used in isolation. 
  • Other factors such as body composition, muscle mass, overall health, and lifestyle should also be considered when assessing an individual's body size and overall health.


Ponderal index formula for IUGR

  • The fetal ponderal index can also be calculated by ultrasound examination and compared with the neonatal PI.
  • Foetal PI had been found to be a predictor of IUGR with sensitivity and specificity of 76.9% and 82%.
  • Data suggests that fetal PI could be used to rule out  IUGR with reasonable accuracy with a negative predictive value of 96.4%.
  • Various studies have shown good sensitivity and specificity of the application of intrauterine PI in the diagnosis of asymmetrical  IUGR.
  • Wider use of intrauterine and the IUGR can be used for the evaluation of fetal retardation because of the high predictive value of the negative test.
  • In utero PI proved to be a valuable index in the prediction of fetal outcome, in those cases of IUGR in whom the in utero PI was smaller than one SD.
  • It has also been found that fetal and neonatal well-being was clearly compromised when IUGR was associated with a low in-utero PI.


Ponderal index Importance

  • PI is not a superior predictor than either birth weight or body mass index for selected short-term outcomes in newborns.
  • For chronic diseases intrauterine environment seems to be important, it is therefore useful to identify babies with low ponderal index as it is a reliable predictor of long-term complications including microalbuminuria, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • PI has been used to assess the asymmetrical IUGR because low birth weight and  IUGR tends to reoccur in siblings and clustering of PI in sibling even persists after controlling for factors such as race, gender, maternal age, gravidity, year of birth, gestational age, pregnancy complications, and poor maternal illnesses.
  • A hospital-based study reported in this issue revealed that 40% of low birth weight babies had asymmetrical body proportions which can have implications for future long-term co-morbidities.



Overall Ponderal Index calculator will help you to find the distribution of body type for your better future. Check More Medical Health Related Calculator on Drlogy Calculator to get exact health solution.



  • Ponderal index by wikipedia [1].
  • Corpulence index wikidata [2].


favorite_border 8596 Likes

The Power To Health

Copyright © 2024 Drlogy. All rights reserved.