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Healthcare Research: Body Comp Lab

The central purpose of the present experiment is to investigate the ability to measure student body parameters, particularly adipose tissue, using a variety of techniques. The more specific objectives of the study include the use of BOD POD, HW, and BIA as techniques for physically quantifying adipose tissue, and BMI, WHR, and Skinfolds as techniques for non-apparatus analysis.

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The methodological part of the entire experiment is comprehensive and consistent: it includes six separate phases, independent of each other. Each of the phases uniquely answers the question about the percentage of fat tissue in the student’s body, who is the author of the current report (What are you made of, n.d.). The first phase tested the research question using the BMI method, one of the easiest to use. For this purpose, the student’s body weight in kg, obtained by weighing on a scale, was divided by height in meters, squared. The resulting value (kgm-2) is a quantitative measure that roughly defines the potential for obesity. In the second part of the experiment, the WHR method was used with a measuring tape: to obtain the WHR index, the waist circumference length was divided by the hip circumference length. Since the division was made for values with identical units of measurement, the final index was a dimensionless value showing waist circumference in relation to hip circumference, that is, the type of figure of the student. In the third part of the test, the BIA technique was used, during which small electrical pulses were passed through the student’s body. No action was required on the part of the subject other than to take a stable position on the scale and attach two electrodes to his leg and arm. The digital analyzer, after a few seconds of processing, provided the final number in percentages as an indication of the amount of body fat.

The fourth part of the experiment used the manual Skinfolds method, which used a caliper. The instrument was used to measure skinfold thicknesses for seven different areas of the body: Triceps, Subscapular, Chest, Axilla, Suprailiac, Abdomen, and Thigh. Each measurement was taken from the right side of the body twice in order to reduce systematic bias. The final result for each skinfold was averaged and then used in a regression equation for women to determine the Db percentage index. During the fifth test, a student in a swimsuit was placed in an airless chamber filled with water. The mass of water displaced was measured. The test was conducted four times, after which the two highest values were averaged to use in the proposed equation. Finally, the sixth phase of the experiment was to use the BOD POD chamber to calculate the direct percentage of fat. Pressure fluctuations were passed through the chamber to estimate the student’s body fluctuations, and through this, to establish the percentage of fat. The result of each of the tests was entered into the registration table shown in the next section. The results were then processed.


BMI (kgm-2) WHR BIA (%) Skinfold (gcm-3) HW BOD POD (%)
Data 24.6 0.79 26.7 1.05 W = 1.55 kg
D = 1.05gml-1

Table 1. Primary results were collected during the physical tests for all six phases.

Each of the data in Table 1 was evaluated using the reference tables provided by the training materials, if necessary. The reconciliation procedure mainly consisted of comparing the preliminary results with the interval or percent fat in the reference tables. Thus, the immediate results were translated into secondary results that directly assessed body fat levels according to demographic characteristics. Thus, the totals presented in Table 2 reflect the same value obtained by six different methodologies.

Data 21-32 N/A 26.7 All sports, 23
Hispanic, 22.8
All sports, 25
Hispanic, 27

Table 2. Results of converting primary data collected to percent body fat based on student demographic characteristics. All data are given as percent body fat from total body weight.


Summarizing the overall outcome of the experimental work done, several critical conclusions regarding the data obtained should be followed. First, it can be seen that the overall percentage interval for body fat content for the five tests is from 21% to 32.2%, indicating an average percentage. Second, for the WHR test, the percentage of fat content was not determined because the reference information did not allow for this data. Apparently, the reason for this is the 80 percent correlation of the WHR index with the level of fat, which means that an exact amount could not be determined. However, if one uses the assessment scale, the data about the high to medium percentage of body fat for the given age group is confirmed. Third, it is noticeable that each test gave a remarkable result, which demonstrates the lack of truthfulness of measurements using only one method. Critical thinking, therefore, must be an essential component of the researcher’s ability to use multiple, parallel studies. Such an experiment is extremely important as part of the therapist’s physical test, allowing the most comprehensive assessment of body fat levels and thus making judgments about the presence of obesity in an individual. This is a significant predictor of physical health, which means that the experiment performed is significant and relevant.

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What are you made of…literally? (n.d.). Mailchi. Web.

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