Obesity is one of the primary enemies of every person on this earth. People are so busy with their own family or corporate lives that they seldom get enough time to take good care of themselves. Although there are numerous fitness clubs and gyms in different countries, you will still find obese people out on the streets or in schools and offices. Doctors have also suggested that purchasing a workout machine for use at home is also a good way to stay fit and lose unwanted body fat. However, very few can implement such good habits for their health.
According to experts, one of the best ways to decide about your obesity is to calculate your body fat percentage. There are several ways to find out about this percentage. 5 of the best and highly useful ways are discussed below for your benefit.
Top 5 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage
- Skin Fold Caliper: In this method, all you need to do is pinch your body fat with the help of your fingers and then measure the thickness by using a caliper. You compare the reading, which is measured in millimeters, to a chart with your gender and exact age. There are several advantages of this method. Firstly, this method is very accurate. Secondly, it is also a highly dependable method if you know how to measure properly. Lastly, you can repeat the method numerous times. However, there are also some disadvantages. The reading may not be accurate for people above 35 years of age.
- Bioelectric Impedance Analysis: BIA or Bio Impedance Analysis another method to measure body fat percentage in a human body. The measurement in this method is carried out with the help of electric current being passed through the human body. Muscles have a very high water level. As a result of this muscles are good conductors of electricity. On the other hand, fat has lower water levels, thus do not conduct electricity as well as muscles. A BIA scale measures the body fat percentage by taking into account the weight and height metrics, as well as, the strength of the impedance. This method is very simple to administer. However, the accuracy of this method is still to be determined. A great option is the Withings Body Cardio.
- Anthropometric: This method to determine body fat percentage is used by the U.S. Navy. According to this method, the height, neck, and waist circumferences are taken into account in case of men. For women, the neck, height, and hips are measured. A special U.S. Navy method calculator is available, which can give you the exact body fat percentage based upon your calculations. Although it is also very simple to administer, the accuracy of this method is still questionable.
- Hydrostatic Weighing: With a very low margin of error (+/- 1.5%), this method is also known as the “Gold Standard” for measuring body fat percentage. According to this method, a person has be submerged in s specialized water tank. It is needless to say that bones and muscles are denser than water. Thus, if a person has less percentage of fat in his body, he will weigh more in water. On the contrary, an obese person will tend to float. The accuracy of this method is very high indeed. However, the method itself is expensive and impractical.
- DEXA Scan: Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry or DEXA is considered to be the best way to measure body fat percentage. This method divides the body in 3 distinct compartments. These are total body mineral, fat tissue mass, and fat-free mass. Although this method is the best of the lot and is very accurate, it is very expensive and cannot be repeated, mainly due to its high cost.