BIA Measurements (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
So we are on our last body composition phase now and this time we have something a little more techy compared to the last 3 body composition measurements. My gym had a handheld version of this technology but now we no longer use it, and use something a little more savvy called “Evolt” — which I will talk about in another post (because I have only used it once & it is a new form of technology for me)
For those of you who are new to BIA, it measures body composition (typically body fat and body mass) using a weak electric current that flows through the body & the voltage is measured in order to calculate impedance/resistance of the body. The current is effected by the amount of water in the body (including blood, etc)
I personally found that I enjoyed using this method of measurement for my clients for a while because it was non invasive and gave them a sense of where their body fat lies compared to only managing weight — which as a personal trainer, I truly believe that body fat is much more important to look at than to look at only weight.
However, there are pros and cons of using this mechanism that one should keep in mind when utilizing it.
- Non invasive form of body composition
- pending the type you buy, it can range in price from cheap to more expensive
- handheld device available
- clients are able to be fully clothed — which for many people makes them happy
- some gyms carry this device
- easy to use
- user friendly
- more perspective about the body (body fat) not just weight
- quick method
- Body geometry is different in an obese persons & that means water distribution could differ too
- It can under predict body fat or over predict
- some studies have shown that BIA has high amounts of errors
- It is recommended you use BIA over an extended about of time — so basically every 3-6 months instead of short term evaluations for better results.
If all else fails, use multiple methods or have a professional in the field take your body composition with something more up to date and accurate – with science and technology constantly changing and developing; there are always better methods being invented.