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Lab Report 2: Anthropometry and Body Composition (Lab Report Sample)




Lab Report 2: Anthropometry and Body Composition
Anthropometry is an easy and convenient way of quantifying the size and proportions of the body. This is done by taking the body width, length, waist and wrist circumference as well as skinfold thickness (Klimek-Piotrowsak et al., 2015). Here measurements are usually used by epidemiologists, and nutritionists to determine individual risks for diseases as reflected by the measurements for their anthropometric variables. In adults, the measures for body mass and body dimensions are useful in representing their nutritional status. They are also useful in the estimation of relative body composition such as fat content and fat distribution (Wang, Thornton, Kolesnik, & Pierson, 2000). The major methods used in anthropometry include skinfold measurement, bioelectric impedance waist circumference measurement, Frame size, and body mass index.
a) Frame Size
There are several methods of measuring the frame size including wrist breadth, knee breadth, elbow breadth, and chest breadth. The frame size is calculated by taking the ratio of body height to the circumference of the wrist. The ratio of the height of the body to the wrist is calculated using the formula below.
* R=H/C where H is the body height, C the circumference of the right wrist, and r the ratio of body height tourists.
b) Body Mass Index (BMI)
The BMI method of determining the body weight is the most recommended method in the clinical setting. This can also be used as a surrogate technique for assessing the content of fat in the body. The body mass index is derived from the body mass (weight) and height of an individual. It quantifies the tissue mass in the body to enable the categorization of individuals as either underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. High Body mass index indicates that an individual is overweight or obese (Sun, Wu, Chumlea & Roche, 2002). It suggests an increased risk for diseases that are associated with being overweight. It is worth to note that body mass index can overestimate the content of fat in individuals who are highly muscular as well as the people with edema. BMI can be calculated using the formula:
ii). BMI=Wh2, where, h2 is the square of height in meters and the mass of the body in kilograms.
c) Waist Circumference
The waist circumference can be used to determine the distribution of fat in the body. The distribution of fat content is important in determining the health implication of overweight or obese person. The way the fat is spread in the body is vital than its quantity when assessing the risk for diseases. The body fat distribution can be classified as either upper body Android or lower body gynoid obesity. Abdominal obesity can be measured using waist size or waist circumference compared to hip size (Duren, 2008). This is also referred to as waist-to-hip ratio.
d) Skinfolds Thickness
The thickness of skinfolds can be used to determine the percentage of fat in the body of an individual. This is done using skinfold caliper where the thickness of two to seven skinfold on the body is taken, and the measurement used to calculate body density. (Wang, Thornton, Kolesnik, & Pierson, 2000). The body densities for men and women are calculated using the formula below.
iii) For men, D=1.1125025- 0.0013125 (X) + 0.00000 (X2)-0.000244 (Y)
iv) For Women, D=1.089733-0.000924(X) +0.0000025(X2)-0.0000979 (Y)
X is the sum of subscapular, chest, and triceps skinfolds (in mm) in men or the sum of triceps, suprailium, and abdominal skin folds in women. Y is the number of years. The body density is converted to percentage body fat using the formula;
v) % body fat=4.95/D-4.5x 100.
e) Bioelectrical Impendence
This is a method of estimating body composition using the body tissues' resistance to electrical current. It determines the total water content in the body from which the free body weight and body fat can be calculated.
a) Frame size
The standing height of an individual was measured using stadiometer and recorded to the nearest 0.1cm. The circumference of the wrist was then measured to the nearest 0.1cm using a tape measure.The frame size was calculated using the formula represented by the equation (i) above. It is assumed that the individual has no physical deformation of the wrist ad has no edema.
b) Body mass index (BMI)
The weight of an individual was taken and using the height value obtained in (a) above; the BMI was calculated using the formula represented by the equation (ii) above. It is assumed that the individual is not suffering from edema and is not highly muscular.
c) Waist Circumference
The waist circumference was measured using a tape measure and the reading recorded. This circumference was taken from the highest point of the hip bone. It is assumed that the passion is not suffering from edema and has no dislocations on the hip joint
d) Skinfolds Thickness
A minimum of two skinfold thickness in both female and male were taken using Skinfold caliper. For males, the skinfold thickness for triceps, chest and subscapular was taken while in females the skin fold thickness measurements for triceps suprailium and abdomen were taken. The measurements were used to calculate the percentage of body density and body fat using the formula in the equations iii, iv, and iv above. This method assumes that the clothing worn by the person being tested will not affect the measurements.
e) Bioelectrical Impedance
The total body water was determined using bioelectrical impedance analysis and free body mass calculated.
a) Anthropometric Results
Table (i) showing the Anthropometric measurements
Lab 4 Anthropometric Measurements

Frame Size






Waist Circumference



Overall Risk

 No Risk


b) Skinfold Measurement
The measurement for skinfolds in chest, subscapular, and triceps in men were as follows;
Chest=10 cm
The % fat in men =10%
The % fat in women=18%
Discussion and Conclusion
The history of anthropometry can be traced back to the time during the Greek era when measurement of the human face was being performed.Most of the aspects used during this time have been incorporated into modern anthropometry used in the clinical setting (Vegter & Hage, 2000). The interpretation and understanding of anthropometry have gone through changes over time.The use of anthropometric measures has changed from racial classification to public health and lately to anthropometric history (Ulijaszek & Komlos, 2010). These anthropometric assessments help in describing the body shape, size as well as the level of fatness.
Anthropometry was initially used in anthropology to identify and understand human physical variation. It had been the only method of body size quantification for the last seventy years. Many of the equations used in the prediction of the quantity of fat were created by measuring the body width, length, and circumference, as well as from the skinfold thickness (Wells & Fewtrell, 2006). Bioelectric impendence method is body composition test which involves passing of electric current through tissues to determine the water content from which fat content can be calculated.
For the results obtained in the laboratory tests, the frame size was 10.3 (medium), and the BMI was 21.8. The waist circumference was 78.5cm. Body waist circumference is above 102cm for men and 88cm for females. These values...
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