METHODS USED TO EVALUATE BODY COMPOSITION IN SPORTS SCIENCES
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Keywords:Air Displacement Plethysmography, Bio-Electrical Impedance, Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Analysis, Fat-Free Mass, Fat Mas
Body composition analysis which is typically partitioned into fat and lean body mass is an important tool for sport with applications in both field setting and research. It has been well documented that body composition is an indicator of general health and also an identifying the factors affecting athletic performance in sports. Today, there are numerous different types of body composition measurement used in sports with some of them including dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), hydrometry, hydrodensitometry or air displacement plethysmography are called as complex methods, some with such as Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis and anthropometric assessments are practical methods. Complex methods are commonly are considered as gold standards with proven reliability and validity, but with expensive and only applicable for laboratory which is not amenable to use in field settings. On the other hand, inexpensive and practical methods which is a limited burden to data collector contains some limitations on reliability and validity. We aimed to present here the most common body composition analysis methods and provide guidelines to assist sport scientists and clinicians in choosing methods appropriate to their situation. In light of the literature mentioned above, it is thought that body composition testing preferences should be different depending on goals. DEXA, MRI or BODPOD can be preferable to carry comprehensive scientific studies out to obtain more accurate data. Anthropometrics or BIA can also provide inferential supports. The use of BIA is distinguished by the ease and cost of the examination, and also provide concrete direction for strength and conditioning coaches for assessing their athletes’ body composition in practical ways. DEXA is an useful tool in treatment planning and its follow-up by measuring muscle mass loss. However, this tool is not portable and required an expert, which often preclude its use in sport sciences.
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