Dec 012009
 

how to measure body fatThere are lots of body fat measurement tools available in the market. These tools have gathered sudden importance because high body fat percentages can lead to health risks like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and some types of cancer.

Basically, the body fat measurement tool gives the ratio between the body fat and muscle. It’s expressed in percentage.
Body fat is worry not only for plump people, even the slim and trim looking ones could have high levels of the body. It’s the percentage of the body fat in the total body weight. These people might fall in the safe weight bracket but could be clinically obese due to high body fat.

Women with low body fat percentage also face health risks such as cessation or irregular menstrual cycles, lowered hormone levels and a loss of bone mass.

There are different instruments to measure body fat. The simplest and cheapest one is through calipers. They look like giant tweezers. They are used by grasping the skin folds at various parts of the body to measure the thickness. Then it’s compared to the standard measurement for the age and gender to give an estimate of body fat. The accuracy of the result depends largely on the quality of the calipers the consistency and the accuracy with which the measurements are taken.

Hydrostatic weighing is the best way to measure body fat but its available on in university or at high end training centers. It involves complete submersion of naked body into a huge tank of water. The air from the lungs would have to be expelled before measuring body fat. Finally body fat is calculated based on number of factors including water displaced. This is very expensive technique and not accessible to all.

Bioelectrical Impedance is also an option of measuring body fat. It can be done at home with minimal skills. But it requires certain guidelines to be followed to get consistent reading like measurement to done same time of the day, with empty bladder, with empty stomach etc. It involves holding a small device or a standing on a scale like device that has small metal plates fitted on it. A little of current would be passed through the body and the machine would calculate the resistance or impedance it encounters when it passed through the body. This is then calculated as percentage of body taking in consideration age, height and fitness level. It’s priced ranges from $100 to $300 depending on the number of users, features and of course the brand. Some of the machine can give a feedback on the hydration level.

Its good idea to check the body before starting on exercise and diet routine and keep intermittently monitoring to ensure that it’s the body fat is lost and not the muscles.

There are numerous athletes using body fat measurements to monitor their progress. Discuss with the doctor about the current body fat percentage and if there were any health risks. If there were any, then its worth investing in body fat percentage measurement tool.