How To: Measure your body fat

Measure your body fat

One of the easiest ways to measure body fat is by using hydrostatic weighing. It is based on Archimedes' principle, the law of buoyancy. It works by calculating body fat from measuring the amount of displaced water after a person has been immersed under water. Since muscle is denser than body fat, a person who has more muscle will displace less water than a person of the same weight with more body fat. This test is usually performed for a couple times for averaging accuracy. If the test is done correctly, there is a very small margin of error. The Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is a whole body scanner that measures body fat with two low doses x-rays that reads bone and tissue simultaneously. DEXA scans require a person to lie still for 10 to 20 minutes. DEXA is considered very accurate by most health experts. You can talk with your doctor about DEXA testing to measure body fat. Calipers or the pinch test is a procedure that calculates skin thickness around the body. This is based on the idea that measures the different areas of skin reflect total body fat; however, according to research there is a margin for error depending on the skill of the tester and the age and ethnicity of the person being tested. The bioelectrical impedance is one of the fastest ways to measure body fat by using a handheld BIA scale or standing on a BIA scale sends a signal from hand to hand or foot to foot. The speed of the signal measures body fat. A BIA scale has a small margin of error, and it is important to measure body fat at the same time of day, preferably in the morning for the most accuracy. If you follow the steps in this video, you can easily measure your body fat.

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