The Role of Body Composition Analyzers in Health and Fitness - American Hospital Supply

The Role of Body Composition Analyzers in Health and Fitness

Brian Barkeley ·

Health professionals use body composition analysis to understand the various components of the human body, such as body fat, body water, skeletal muscle mass, and other advanced body composition metrics . A body composition test provides deep insights to an individual's overall health and fitness level. In addition, body composition analyzers help people to understand the physical changes and progress they’ve made during their weight loss programs. Although there are several professional body composition analyzers on the market, InBody’s devices have been clinically validated in over 5,500 studies. As a result, the medical community trusts InBody’s medical body composition analyzers to deliver efficient and accurate results.

Understanding Body Composition

Your body composition depends on your general fitness and health. For instance, body fat, fluid, and muscle mass levels vary depending on your lifestyle, food choices, and physical activity. Food and water are essential sources of energy for the body, and this energy is stored as calories in the cells. If someone burns the same amount of calories as they take in, this individual will likely remain in shape and in good health. However, when someone consumes more calories than they need, the excess calories get stored in their fat cells. The body can use stored fat as energy, but excess calorie buildup may eventually lead to health problems like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions. It's also worth noting that too little fat, or being underweight, is also not good for your health.

What is Body Composition Analysis?

Body composition analysis takes stock of the balance of elements in your body, such as your percent body fat, skeletal muscle mass per limb, and total body water. Although this type of testing is more prevalent in athletic training and sports than in general medicine, it has become widely used by people who are watching  their weight or monitoring the impact of a new diet program. That's why many professionals and dietitians recommend regular body composition analysis for understanding your progress and results. 

Importance of Body Composition Analysis

Many people on a weight management program find it challenging to determine whether the recommended diet and exercises are working for them. For instance, the initial results of a weight loss program may show no visible reduction in body size, and even the scale won't say otherwise. That's where a body composition analysis becomes helpful, because weight alone doesn't give the complete picture of the positive health effects and body fat reduction caused by regular exercise and healthy food choices.

Types of Body Composition Analysis

Medical professionals use different techniques to measure the body’s components. Here are some of the most common methods used to measure body composition:

  • Skinfold Measurement:

Skinfold analysis is a straightforward technique for determining body fat percentage. Skin calipers quantify subcutaneous fat by gently pinching skin samples from various locations on the body. When appropriately used, skin calipers can provide precise measurements. However, human error is a common source of variation.

  • Underwater Weighing:

Hydrostatic weighing, often known as underwater weighing, is a type of body composition testing that estimates body composition by comparing the subject's dry and in-water weights and the amount of water they displace. Underwater weighing requires the individual being tested to have their lungs be completely deflated, as the presence of even a tiny amount of air will cause the water level to rise or fall incorrectly. The standard protocol calls for carrying out the test three times before settling on an average submerged weight.

  • Body Pod:

This method is similar to underwater weighing, but instead of measuring water displacement, it measures air displacement, using an egg-shaped, air-controlled chamber. The Body Pod utilizes a mechanical diaphragm in a regulated environment to generate minute volume changes, in order to measure pressure responses through sensors.

  • Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis: ¬†

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is one of the least expensive and most convenient ways to determine body composition. The InBody 270, for instance, is a portable and durable analyzer that does not necessitate any water immersion or pinching. For a speedy analysis of one's body composition, the user stands on the platform while holding hand electrodes. 

BIA devices work by sending mild, painless electrical currents through your body and measuring the impedances they encounter, which vary depending on your body composition. For example, because muscle tissue retains more water than fat tissue, people with lots of lean muscle mass tend to have lower impedance levels.

A body composition test is a good starting point for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness. While making better food choices and exercising can help you achieve your fitness goals, routine body composition analysis can boost your motivation and help you track your success by quantifying the results of your efforts. Scales can’t tell you whether you’re losing body fat and gaining health muscle, but body analyzers can.

InBody Body Composition Analyzers for Professional Use

Since the introduction of InBody Tests and professional body composition analyzers in the late 1990s,  these products have revolutionized the BIA market. InBody devices feature innovative technologies, such as 8-point tactile electrodes, that enable the precise measurement of body composition. As a result, many healthcare professionals find InBody devices effective and accurate for determining the health and fitness of their patients.

American Health Supply (AHS), a leading medical supplier, has partnered with InBody to offer InBody professional body composition analyzers and medical-grade body water analyzers to hospitals and clinics across the U.S. Here are some of the most popular InBody models available at AHS.

InBody 270:

The InBody 270 is the one of the most lightweight, compact body composition analyzers available. It features durable construction and offers multiple outputs to assist healthcare professionals in providing quick and reliable body composition testing. Its test takes only 15 seconds and provides immediate data on body fat, muscle mass, and body water. In addition, the software supplied with this model assists doctors in saving patient data to the cloud and accessing the results anytime. The InBody 270 can be folded and stored in its carrying case for convenient, on-the-go testing. Medical professionals can take this body composition analyzer anywhere they need to be.

Highlights:

  • Outputs: Weight, Total Body Water, Dry Lean Mass, Body Fat Mass, Skeletal Muscle Mass, Body Mass Index, Percent Body Fat, Segmental Lean Analysis, Body Composition History, Lean Body Mass, Body Fat-Lean Body Mass Control, Basal Metabolic Rate, Skeletal Mass Index, Segmental Impedance at each Frequency, InBody Score
  • Test Duration: 15 Seconds
  • ¬†Additional Features: LookinBody 120 and LookinBody Web-compatible, touchscreen, voice guidance system, wi-fi connectivity, security access code

InBody 570:

The InBody 570 is an advanced body composition analyzer.  Besides providing accurate readings of body fat and lean mass, its unique technology delivers comprehensive body water data. These measurements are highly valued in the sports and fitness industry. With its ability to measure Intracellular and Extracellular Water, Visceral Fat levels, and more, it's the perfect tool for any professional or individual who wants to understand their body composition. 

Testing a patient's body composition is quick and easy with the InBody 570, taking about 50 seconds. Like other InBody professional body composition analyzers, this intelligent device has built-in cloud software that records and prints out the user's muscle, fat, and water values on a full-page results sheet.

Highlights:

  • Outputs: Weight, Total Body Water, Dry Lean Mass, Lean Body Mass, Body Fat Mass, Skeletal Muscle Mass, Percent Body Fat, Segmental Lean Analysis, Body Composition History, Intracellular Water, Extracellular Water, ECW/TBW Analysis, Body Fat-Lean Body Mass Control, Basal Metabolic Rate, Segmental Impedance at each Frequency, Visceral Fat Level, Segmental Fat Analysis, Skeletal Muscle Index, InBody Score, Arm Circumference
  • Test Duration: 50 Seconds
  • Additional Features: LookinBody 120 and LookinBody Web-compatible, touchscreen, voice guidance system, wi-fi connectivity, security access code, foldable design

InBody 770:

For scientific and clinical work, few body composition analyzers can compare to the InBody 770. This sophisticated device can perform a complete analysis of patients’ Whole Body Phase Angle, Segmental Muscle Mass, Visceral Fat Area, and more. The InBody 770 is a valued tool for fitness coaches, research centers, and doctors, thanks to its wide range of features and functions. With two separate result sheets, the InBody 770 offers a wealth of data for clinicians.

Highlights:

  • Outputs: Weight, Total Body Water, Dry Lean Mass, Lean Body Mass, Body Fat Mass, Skeletal Muscle Mass, Body Mass Index, Percent Body Fat, Segmental Lean Analysis, Body Composition History, Intracellular Water, Extracellular Water, ECW/TBW Analysis, Segmental Body Water Analysis, Segmental ECW/TBW Analysis, Body Fat-Lean Body Mass Control, Basal Metabolic Rate, Segmental Impedance at each Frequency, Visceral Fat Level, Visceral Fat Area, Segmental Fat Analysis, Segmental ICW Analysis, Segmental ECW Analysis, Leg Lean Mass, TBW/LBM, Reactance, Whole Body and Segmental Phase Angle, Skeletal Muscle Index, InBody Score, Arm Circumference, ICW/LBM %
  • Test Duration: 50 Seconds
  • Additional Features: EMR integration (HL7-ready), barcode scanner integration, LookinBody 120 and LookinBody Web-compatible, touchscreen, voice guidance system, wi-fi connectivity, security access code

How Do BIA Body Composition Analyzers Work? 

Standard scales don't tell you anything about body composition. On the other hand, a body composition analysis test on a BIA device can deliver insights into your percent body fat, muscle mass per limb, body water level, and lean muscle mass, offering a more complete picture of your body. Medical professionals and certified dietitians can quickly and non-invasively perform this test, which provides an accurate reading of a person's body composition by transmitting mild, painless electrical currents through the body and measuring the resulting impedance, which varies depending on how much muscle, fat, and body water you have. From there, other metrics can be derived. For example, your body fat index is calculated by dividing your total weight by three different readings for fat, water, and lean tissue.

Summing Up

Specialists can tailor a treatment strategy for each patient's needs by analyzing data gained from body composition analysis. For example, healthcare practitioners can use the insights gleaned from these tests to:

  • Give patients on weight management programs a more accurate picture of their progress
  • Monitor the fluid levels of diabetic patients
  • Design better treatment plans for patients experiencing sarcopenia and frailty
  • And more!¬†

American Hospital Supply’s (AHS) mission is to supply hospitals and clinics across the United States with essential medical technology. AHS can offer these devices at a competitive, thanks to its partnership with InBody, a leading provider of body composition analyzers.

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