Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) is a reliable method of measuring body composition, including percentage of body fat and lean body mass. Measurements are taken with a bioimpedance analyzer, which uses electrodes similar to EKG electrodes. The machine passes a harmless, ultra-low level electrical current through the body. Lean tissue which is over 80% water is a good conductor of electrical current. Fatty tissue – low in water is not. Thus, the resistance to the flow of electrical current measured by the analyzer can be used to calculate body composition.
Participants will need to remove their right shoe and sock or stocking. The electrodes are placed on the right hand and foot while the individual is lying down on an exam table. This whole procedure takes only a few minutes and a computer prints out the results. Optimal body fat ranges from 12%-25% for women and 5% – 20% for men.
Over 100 independent studies, conducted by researchers over the past 20 years, have demonstrated that bioimpedance analysis can provide an accurate and clinically useful assessment of body composition.
For the most accurate results, the following guidelines should be followed:
- do not eat 3-4 hours prior to testing
- do not exercise 12 hours prior to testing
- do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing
- drink at least 1 litre of water one hour before your test
- do not drink coffee the day of your test