New Bod Pod enhances body composition measurement

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Connie L. Bias
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Body composition measurement just became much easier and more accurate at Fairchild. The Health and Wellness Center has introduced the Bod Pod Body Composition Tracking system, an egg-shaped compartment that gives body composition and metabolism measurements in 10 minutes or less.

Before the Bod Pod's arrival in April, body composition was measured at Fairchild through the waist-taping process. Other forms of measurement can include the skin-fold technique, hydrostatic weighing (or underwater weighing), body mass index, and the list goes on. According to research conducted and compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and other major universities, the Bod Pod and underwater weighing have comparably accurate results - the two usually agree within one percent. The Bod Pod, however, is a much easier measurement method, as there's no water involved. Other methods are less accurate.

"Body fat and these body composition measurements are a much better indicator of health than weight," said Alyson Kresser, HAWC dietician, pointing out that a scale doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat. "The Bod Pod measures body fat percentage - percent fat and lean - as well as how many pounds are on your body."

Adding to the accuracy and ease are safety benefits, according to Staff Sgt. Mike Torrieri, health and wellness technician. Getting people out of the water significantly decreases a safety risk.

"It's also much more efficient," said Sergeant Torrieri. "People can come by on their lunch break and be in and out of here quickly."

Fairchild is currently one of 13 Air Force bases with a Bod Pod. The HAWC staff runs the machine every Tuesday and Thursday, and asks that people make an appointment before showing up. This allows staff at the HAWC to ensure interested people are prepared to enter the Bod Pod, as there are a few prerequisites for entering the chamber.

- Wear form-fitting clothes, which can include swimsuits, Spandex, sports bras, Speedos, biking shorts, etc.
- Clothing must not have padding or wires.
- Wear a swim cap.
- Do no exercise or eat two hours prior to the test.

To make a Bod Pod appointment, call the HAWC at 247-5590. Use of the machine is free to active-duty personnel, dependents, retirees, contractors and civil service employees.