And the overall amount is not the only concern; distribution of body fat matters as well. For few individuals, increased levels of fat of abdomin have been tied to higher risks of heart disease & cancer compared to fat distributed across remaining body. So, how do you exactly track body fat? If we do a quick Google search, it will reveal infinite of methods to measure body composition ranging from the quick & painless to the incredibly detailed. Such measurement techniques helps persons to set baseline values for the body composition & goals for later on down the line. But with the variation in methods, there comes a fluctuation in the accuracy. Wherein one such method might nail down our percent body fat to within a few decimals, others leave a huge range of error. Though body fat scale is the most easy way of checking the body, yet here are some other top five methods for measuring body composition:
1):- Skin Calipers: It might not be our favourite St. Patrick’s Day, but yet get ready to be pinched! Skin caliper id very accessible way for measuring the body composition. A skin fold assessment can be done by using either three or four or six sites (meaning parts of the body). The technician pinches skin & then he uses this device to measure the thickness of skin fold for every site. Every protocol has some specific sites for testing spread across the body which commonly includes the chest, abdominal, arms & thigh. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners estimates body composition.
2):- Bioelectrical Impedance: Though the name might sound a little intimidating, it is far removed from shock therapy. In reality, users would not even feel a thing. These scales range from the simple (a normal scale is with electrodes under each foot) to the complex (a scale which has handholds and also additional electrodes). Irrespective of the machine, the devices work by sending small electrical impulses through the body & measuring how fastly those impulses return. Since lean tissue are conducting electrical impulses faster than fatty tissue, a faster response time is actually correlated with a leaner physique.
3):- Hydrostatic Weighting: It is commonly known as underwater weighing. It compares normal bodyweight (outside the water) to bodyweight while absolutely submerged. Using these two numbers & the density of water, operators can accurately nail down the density of subject. This number is used then to estimate composition of body.
4):- DEXA ( stands for Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry): Do you think X-rays are just for broken bones? Well... Wait a second. DEXA scan exposes one to X-ray beams of differing intensities & can be used to measure bone mineral density with body composition. One lay downs still on a table while a machine arm passes over one's entire body, which emits a high- & a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of every beam into body, technicians get readings for lean body mass, bone mineral density, & fat mass. And since machine scans parts of body individually, the test can too break down body composition per limb so one can confirm one suspicions that one's right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than one's left.
5):- Air-Displacement Plethysmography: Do not let the name intimidate you. It is actually very much similar to underwater weighting. First of all, participants sit in a small machine. Then, by measuring how much air is displaced by individual, technicians determine body density. Just like underwater weighing, the density of the body of the participant is then used to calculate body composition.