Michelle L. OtteƗ1, Lucas K. ShrumƗ1, Kelly D. BarnsƗ1, Kurt W. McDowellǂ1, Chelsey R.

Geggǂ1, Ryan D. Napoliǂ1, Ryan J. Johnsonǂ1, Jeremy T. Barnesǂ1, Thomas J. Pujolǂ1, FACSM, & Jason D. Wagganerǂ1, 1Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

Bioelectrical impedance (BIA) and skinfold (SKF) measurements are commonly used to assess body fat percentage (BF%) (i.e., fat vs. lean mass). There are many different quick and cost efficient methods of estimating body fat via BIA (i.e., hand held equipment such as the OMRON Fat Loss Monitor HBF-306C) or SKF (i.e., Lange SKF calipers). BIA and SKF calipers report similar accuracy ranges (i.e., +3.5%) if used by a trained technician and the subject has a normal hydration status. Other factors that can affect the accuracy of SKF assessments include lack of training and poor technique, incorrect site location, and/or an overly obese or extremely lean participant. Both methods of measurement are used in various field settings such as collegiate athletics due to reliability, ease of use, and affordability. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare college-aged American Football players BF% as measured by the OMRON Fat Loss Monitor HBF-306C compared to that estimated using Lange SKF calipers and the Jackson and Pollock formula. METHODS: Each participant (male=88; age=19.78+1.30 yrs; wt=105.82+22.82 kg; ht=183.67+6.20 cm) had BF% assessed, in the early morning, via the OMRON Fat Loss Monitor HBF-306C (in the Athletic mode) in the standing position. Body density was calculated based on measurements taken at three sites (i.e., chest, abdominal and thigh) using Lange SKF calipers. Then an ethnically appropriate equation was used to convert body density to body fat percent. RESULTS: A paired samples t-test indicated the OMRON Fat Loss Monitor HBF-306C BF% (18.50+6.50) was significantly higher than the Lange SKF calipers BF% (16.81+6.74) (p=.001). CONCLUSIONS: While the two modes of BF% were significantly different, they were within the manufacturer stated accuracy range. While the exact reason for this difference is unknown, some factors could be related to the bilateral (i.e., both hands) measurement via BIA compared to the unilateral (i.e., right side only) measurements taken by the calipers, hydration status, extremely high or low body fat, and/or human error. More research needs to be done comparing different modes of BF% amongst an athletic population.

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