Clinical Calculations of Body Composition

Body composition is important for exercisers and companies that produce exercise and fitness related equipment. The most essential results of a body compositions calculation are usually the BMI, or body mass index, which indicates the percentage of bodily fat for the individual, as well as the bone density number.

Dedicated exercise enthusiasts may wish to know their BMI to determine the effectiveness of a certain exercise regimen. For example, if a runner is satisfied with his change in BMI after exercising on a treadmill he may conclude that the product is worth purchasing or endorsing.

Bone density will be important for medical companies as well as for individuals who are treated by these companies. A high bone density is usually healthy informs the individual that normal exercises and daily activities will not cause any skeletal damage.

BMI is most easily calculated by measuring the thickness of certain fat deposits in the body with calipers. This method is extremely quick and easy but there is a relatively large measure of error and the results may require the need of expert interpretation of give a reliable BMI ratio.

Two similar methods for measuring BMI are to use volume displacement and weight to obtain a BMI ratio. Either water or air can be used to measure volume displacement with comparable results.

Besides any of these methods, the BMI of an individual can be obtained with the help of an electrical current. This method measure the resistance that the individual’s body offers to a small electrical current.

Since electricity is conducted differently by fat than by muscle, a fattier body would have a different resistance to the same electrical current than a muscular body would, even if both bodies weigh the same. The results from the electrical test would not need to be compared directly to the weight of the individual the same way as the results of a displacement test.

The most accurate method for calculating BMI as well as for other body composition factors such as bone density and mineral content involves using a dual x-rays that have different energy levels. This method works on the understanding that different types of bodily tissue will absorb radiated energy differently.

Since there are also two different energy levels that are projected onto the body there will be two different levels of energy absorption for any given part of the body. By determining the difference between the two numbers, it can be determined if the tissue is fatty, muscular or bone.

About the author: Jessica Staheli is a health and fitness nut. She loves to write about being healthy and getting in shape because she believes that taking care of your body is important. Having fitness equipment in your home is a great way to remind yourself to exercise, and she recommends for help with choosing a treadmill. You can follow her at Google+.