Measuring Body Fat Percentage
Measure Body Fat with Skin-Fold Callipers
Body fat can be measured using simple skin-fold callipers. These measure the amount of fat just under the skin at the upper-arm, upper-back, lower-back, stomach and upper thigh. The measurements are then averaged and put into a formula to determine the total body fat percent.
Measure Body Fat Percentage with Bioelectrical Impedance
Bioelectrical impedance is one of the quickest methods for determining body fat percent. Electrodes are attached to various body parts sending a signal through the body to estimate total body water. (Muscle contains a lot more water than fat.) Basically, the more water your body contains, the higher your body fat percentage.
Measure Body Fat Percentage with DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
DEXA uses a whole body scanner and two different low-dose x-rays to read bone mass and soft tissue mass. From start to finish, it takes about 10-20 minutes to do a body scan. It provides a high degree of precision with a 2-3 % margin of error. See if your insurance company will cover the cost which is upwards of $100 or more.
Measure Body Fat Percentage by Hydrostatic Weighing
This method is based on the premise that fat floats. By submerging a body in water, you can determine how much of it is lean and how much is fat. You will often find this equipment at your local universities or research institutions. Some universities have been known to offer this test for around $25-$50 so call and find out if this is offered in your area.