The Bod Pod

The Bod Pod is a specialty body fat testing system that gives the most accurate results available.

How does it work?

Air displacement technology accurately measures the amount of fat and lean muscle mass in the body, without the discomfort of other methods.

There are several benefits to using the Bod Pod when compared to other body testing methods:

  • The assessment is extremely simple and comfortable. The time you will actually be sitting in the Bod Pod only last about 2 minutes. There are a few minutes in the beginning where we collect some basic info about you and some pre-test calibrations. All-in-all its about a 5 minute process.
  • You stay dry! Unlike hydrostatic testing, which submerges you in a tank of water, the Bod Pod requires no time consuming preparations or post-test shower to remove dirty water and germs.
  • It is safe for kids too. It is the only body monitoring technology that is applicable to kids as well as adults.

Since the Bod Pod technology has emerged, it has become the world's leading body- monitoring system. The NFL combine uses it to test players prior to recruitment. The Mayo Clinic uses it to monitor the health and treatment of patients. NBC's "The Biggest Loser" uses it to track changes in contestants during the show. It is an excellent tool that some of the health and fitness leaders in the nation are already relying on.

Overview

What How Positive Negative
The Bod Pod, using air displacement technology is one of the best indicators of overall health. This method has been developed using the same principles as under water weighing. The technique uses air, as opposed to water and is known as air displacement plethysmography. Patients enter a sealed chamber that measures their body volume through the displacement of air in the chamber. Body volume is combined with body weight in order to determine body density. You will sit inside the Bod Pod cabin for about 2 minutes. Total time including goal setting and reviewing is approximately 10-15 minutes. Safe, non-invasive, and ideally suited for frequent testing. Provides the highest degree of accuracy, with the least discomfort in testing. Very quick—only 2 minutes inside of chamber. Can test any physical attribute of a person—can hold up to a 7-foot person and 550 pounds. Flexibility in testing special populations, including young children. Very few businesses carry the Bod Pod. Finding a place that offers this method can be difficult.

What

The Bod Pod, using air displacement technology is one of the best indicators of overall health. This method has been developed using the same principles as under water weighing. The technique uses air, as opposed to water and is known as air displacement plethysmography.

How

Patients enter a sealed chamber that measures their body volume through the displacement of air in the chamber. Body volume is combined with body weight in order to determine body density. You will sit inside the Bod Pod cabin for about 2 minutes. Total time including goal setting and reviewing is approximately 10-15 minutes.

Positive

Safe, non-invasive, and ideally suited for frequent testing. Provides the highest degree of accuracy, with the least discomfort in testing. Very quick—only 2 minutes inside of chamber. Can test any physical attribute of a person—can hold up to a 7-foot person and 550 pounds. Flexibility in testing special populations, including young children.

Negative

Very few businesses carry the Bod Pod. Finding a place that offers this method can be difficult.

How does the Bod Pod compare
with other body fat testing procedures?

Skin Fold Caliber

What

This method measures your body fat percentage by pinching your fat with your fingers and then measuring the thickness with a body fat caliber at several specific locations on the body (chest, bicep, abdominal, groin, thigh, calf, upper back, and lower back).

How

Skinfold measurements are generally taken at specific sites on the right side of the body. The tester pinches the skin at the location site and pulls the fold of skin away from the underlying muscle so only the skin and fat tissue is being held. Once these measurements have been taken in millimeters, the numbers are converted into a percent of body fat.

Positive

Moderately accurate and repeatable, assuming the tester is very skilled. Also normally inexpensive, with minimal equipment needs.

Negative

Variability of measurement (same exact spot needs to be used each time), more than one test site needed so user will need additional help, and for people 35+ pounds overweight, fat may not fit in caliber, so it’s not as accurate. Two individuals might have nearly identical measurements at all of the skin fold sites. This method does not measure deep belly fat, which is very important in terms of health.

Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA)

What

The principal behind this measurement is that electricity flows differently through fat and lean body mass. This method sends a low-level, safe, electrical current through the body.

How

By measuring the resistance to the flow of a very small current of electricity through different parts of your body, body fat percentage is estimated. The most accurate time of day for testing with these units is late morning and before you exercise. Fat-free mass (muscle) is a good conductor as it contains a large amount of water and electrolytes, while fat is anhydrous and a poor conductor of electrical current.

Positive

The scales are very inexpensive and do not require special training. They can also provide a decent week-to-week comparison as long as measurements are done the same time of day and not after exercise.

Negative

These units don’t measure belly fat, which is the most dangerous. This measurement is also sensitive to hydration status; so if you measure your body fat after a workout or first thing in the morning, the test will be less accurate and will overestimate your body fat.

Hydrostatic Weighing (Underwater weighing)

What

This test is based on the determination of body density by measuring the weight of the body outside the water, the weight of the body under water after exhaling completely, and the density of the water. The resulting body density is then put into an equation to determine body fat percentage. This method uses Archimedes’ Principle of Displacement—the buoyant force on a submerged object is equal to the weight of the fluid that is displaced by the object

How

A person is first weighed on dry land. Next, in a special tank, the patient is dunked into a tank full of water and asked to expel all air from his lungs and remain motionless while the underwater weight is measured. This procedure is repeated three times and averaged.

Positive

Accurate testing results. Availability of testing in the marketplace.

Negative

Many people have difficulty exhaling completely before being dunked underwater, as people can hold up to 4 liters of gas in their system at any given time. Also, bone material density varies considerably from person to person. Can be an expensive test, depending on which lab is used. Also, requires considerable equipment to perform. Average costs around $55-$100.

DEXA Scan (Dual-Emission X-ray Absorptiometry)

What

DEXA Scan, based on a three-compartment model that divides the body into total body mineral, fat-free soft (lean) mass, and fat tissue mass.

How

Patient lies down on the scanner as an X-ray machine scans the body. No touching the body whatsoever.

Positive

Accurate, direct testing method.

Negative

DEXA can have limitations in the obese as many machines are much less accurate in overweight people and can have 3-5% precision error. The need for a doctor’s prescription is required to get a DEXA scan done. There is also less availability for this test. Patients must may out of pocket costs ranging from $59 to $399 (average $250). Due to cost, not practically repeatable over time.