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02 Dec 2005

Measuring body fat
Hi, please can you tell me how to measure a friend of mine's body fat using the skin calipers that actual personal trainers use.Please tell me what figures to add up and take out and whatever thank you.
How many different ways are there of measuring body fat with the calipers? And which one is right?
Thanks
Answer 340 views
Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

I would not suggest using the calipers yourself, because the result is highly inaccurate unless you have very specific training with the device. It's actually not a simple case of pinching someone's skin, measuring with calipers and then using an equation. There are very important aspects to remember, technique, locations of the sites you have to use etc. In fact, in Australia, at their high performance institute in Canberra, it's compulsory for students to take at least 1000 measurements before they are considered competent. In SA, I feel that too often, the device is used wrongly and this explains why many people believe their body fat percentage is either too high or too low, often wrongly so. My advice is that you should arrange to see a biokineticist who can do the measurement, or otherwise, use the HealthZones at the Virgin Active gyms if you are a member, or contact a doctor about a technique called infrared measurement of body fat. These techniques take the error out of measurements, and even though the calipers may be more accurate in a very trained and experienced person, at least you won't have to worry about the human element.

GOod luck
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