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How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

Body Fat Mesurments for Women.

Body fat is an essential part of our body makeup. It is the percentage of body fat that has health implications. Too much body fat can lead to being overweight, then obesity, and finally morbid obesity. This can have serious harmful effects on your health and well-being. That is the importance of keeping track of your body fat percentage and remaining fit and healthy. It is also essential to note that the healthy body fat levels are different for men and women and vary with age.

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Tape Measure

The easiest method is to measure the neck, waist, and hip circumference with a tape measure. Add the hip and waist values and minus the neck value to get a number. This, along with your height, can be used to measure body fat on charts or by using online calculators. This is a reasonably accurate measure but depends on measurement techniques like the tightness of tape, exact placement of tape as also a time of last meal, and clothing. It is best to take help and measure twice to increase accuracy.

Skinfold Calipers

Skinfold thickness measuring calipers are gadgets available easily in the market. This can give more accurate figures by measuring skin-fold thickness over the triceps, above the hip bone and the thigh, and then using an online calculator. Again, taking help and measuring twice can increase accuracy, as also a seven-site measurement which takes more time. To monitor changes accurately, it is important to measure at the same spot every time.

Special Scales

Body fat measuring scales sound like an attractive and convenient way to quickly calculate body fat percentage once you have entered your height, weight, age, and gender into the machine. The scales pass a small electric current through the body and try to calculate body fat percentage. It uses the fact that fat offers more resistance to the passage of electricity than muscle and water (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis-BIA). Attractive as the idea sounds, unfortunately, the results have significant variations from established methods of calculating. The results also depend on how much water you drink, the nature of the last meal, and the time of the previous exercise. In addition, the scales are often inaccurate if you have osteoporosis in top athletes and at extremes of age.

See Also

Hydrostatic Weighing

A very accurate method of calculating body fat percentage is hydrodensitometry, which is possible in special facilities only. For example, you sit in a unique chair which is then dipped in water, and your body weight is taken underwater. This is used to very accurately calculate your body fat percentage.

Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod), like hydrodensitometry, requires a particular facility but is equally accurate. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS), Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM), and 3-D Body Scanners are other technologies that are in use. Do go through the options and choose the one that suits you best.

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