Why Measure Body Composition?
Body composition is the next big thing in health, medicine and fitness. With a clear understanding of your body composition, you can improve your health and change your life for the better. Simply put, you’ve got to know your body composition if you are in any way serious about managing your weight and improving your quality of life.
Simply stepping on a scale and measuring your weight unfortunatly is not an indicator of your quality of health. Scales are not able to distinguish between pounds that come from body fat, lean body mass, water or muscle. Obesity, the condition of carrying too much fat puts a person at risk for many serious medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and even certain forms of cancer.
Regardless of your health and fitness goals, understanding your body composition will help you reach your health, wellness, and fitness needs with meaningful data points. For example, we provide full-page, in-depth results sheet detailing the muscle, fat, and water values of your body in minutes to help you understand, track and improve you fitness.
How is body composition measured?
Today, there are a variety of ways body composition can be measured. Some ways are inexpensive, though considered less than accurate, such as a hand-held device or bathroom scales. Historically, one of the more common methods has been uncomfortable skin caliper testing. This method is considered unreliable for people with significant amounts of body fat, and can be generally unreliable, unless measured by someone with a large amount of experience.
Ultrasound can be used, however it is somewhat limited as it can only measure external fat, and does not provide internal fat data, critical to understanding overall health. DEXA scanning (using a form of x-ray) and air or water displacement are very accurate and reproducible, however they are expensive and require far more time.
We use Direct Segmental Multi-frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (DSM-BIA). With both accuracy and reproducibility, our equipment measures body water, muscle mass, and body fat by passing multiple frequencies of current through your body. This allows an extremely accurate measurement of body fat comparable to DEXA scanning but at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time.
How accurate is it?
Our equipment is designed by General Electric Healthcare, the same makers of DEXA scanning equipment. The DSM-BIA has a 98% correlation with DEXA scanning along and superior reproducibility. The faster, less expensive and more convenient testing equipment provides highly accurate full body analysis. The equipment is used by healthcare and medical professionals at hospitals, universities, and professional facilities such as Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Health and the Navy Seals.
Our medical-grade BIA devices are able to measure the entire body directly, and can be extremely accurate – even as accurate as the “Gold Standard” procedures, but without the complications that other types of equipment enatil. We use the most advanced BIA devices that are able to perform segmental analysis providing data about your body (trunk, Right/Left Arm, Right/Left Leg), including water, fat and muscle.
How often should the test be done?
To really differentiate between significant changes, every 4 weeks tends to be a good point to pick up body composition changes.