Monday, December 13, 2010

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Body Composition

Body Composition describes the percent of fat, bone and muscle in the body. Of all the methods used to estimate body composition skin folds is the most common because it is least expensive and very reliable when taken properly.

Common Sites for Men and Women

There are several sites located on the body that can be used for skin folds. Typically the more sites used the more accurate the results but when administered by a trained professional it does not make that big of a difference.
A three site test is the most common:
For men the sites are the chest, thigh and abdomen and for women typically the triceps, thigh and suprailium are measured

Body Composition and Your Health

Obesity related disease include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke. So working to maintain or achieve a healthy body composition has more benefits than simply just weighing less. If more Americans were aware of the health risks associate with being overweight and having a high body fat percentage then maybe obesity would not be an epidemic in this country.

Testing Guidelines

1. Identify the location of the site (make sure all measurements are taken from the right side of the body)
2. Grasp skin firmly with thumb and index finger
3. Place caliper approx. 1/4 in. from fingers
4. Take an average of a minimum of two measurements at each site

Preparation for assessment

When measuring body composition through skin folds make sure to wear shorts and a t-shirt so that sites are easily excess able. Skin folds should not be taken after exercise because of the transfer of fluids that occur in the body. In order for results to be valid and reliable the test should be administered by a trained professional. It is also suggested that the same person take the measurements each time in order to account for testing error.

Tips for Reducing Body Fat Percentage

1. Build more muscle
2. Eat for health
3. Avoid refined carbs
4. Enjoy protein
5. Drink more water
6. Increase activity level
7. Know your calories
8. Have 4-6 mini meals
9. Eat more veggies
10. Eliminate soda
11. Make exercise fun
12. Find what works for you