Why should you get a body composition test? You wouldn’t buy a used car without having it inspected. You would not choose a bottle that doesn’t have a label to show your guests when you serve them dinner. Our bodies are no different. Understanding the inside of your body will help you understand its composition.
Are your organs and muscle functioning well? Your vitamins, minerals, and proteins being properly processed? Any warning signs that could lead to problems later? The body composition test can be used by doctors to determine the state of your body and to provide guidance on how to make sure your body functions optimally.
Here’s what to expect if your doctor recommends a test of body composition.
What Is Body Composition?
The body composition simply describes your body’s composition. It provides information about the body’s proportions of fats, muscle, water, and bones. You will learn more about how your body composition affects certain areas of your health and well-being depending on the test you are recommended by your doctor. Medical and Fitness professionals can use the results to tailor treatment and regimens for you to improve and gauge your health. They may recommend the following tests:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) – This is a method to determine body fat based on one’s weight and height. A BMI calculator can be used to quickly determine if someone is overweight or normal. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool that measures fat or overall health. It is most commonly used to classify average people into general categories.
- Skinfold Calipers Also known as the pinch test, involve pinching the fat subcutaneously at predetermined locations around the body and then measuring the thickness with a ruler.
- Hydrostatic Weighing. This was the original idea of the ancient Greeks. Hydrostatic (underwater weighing) applies Archimedes’ principle that an object displaces itself volume of water. Modern times have brought us to hydrostatic body composition analysis, which measures the mass per unit volume in a person’s body. It is the most reliable method of determining the body’s composition.
- Air Displacement Plethysmography (ADP) – measures the volume of the body by measuring how much air is being displaced in response to changes in pressure inside an enclosed chamber. Boyle’s Law is the basis of ADP. This means that volume and pressure at constant temperatures are inextricably related.
- Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry is a high-quality imaging method that determines the body composition of bones, body weight, and muscle mass.
Why Know Your Body Composition?
It is one thing to know these tests exist but is it worth getting one? Body composition tests can be used for many purposes. They can give you a realistic view of your body and provide comfort, like a well-trained athlete. His weight may be higher than what it should be for his height, but the body mass index will show that there is more muscle than fat. This means that he is healthy for his height. Your body composition can help you set goals or indicate that you have achieved them. If you’re thin, it could indicate that you lack muscle or bone health. Your body composition can be used to determine your health risks and treatment options.
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