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FORMULAS FOR CALCULATING BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

 

How to Choose a Formula for % Body Fat?

The variety of formulas that have been developed to calculate the percentage of body fat can generate doubts and confusion in which it should be used, and which is the best to determine it. The choice should be based mainly on the evaluation of several aspects to be considered:

  1. Number of people to measure.
  2. Age and gender of the person(s) to be measured.
  3. Physical condition of the person(s) to be measured: if he is sedentary or with low- moderate physical activity (general population), if he exercises several hours a day several days a week (fit population), or if they are high performance athletes.
  4. How much I know about the skinfold measurement technique.

All equations were created by different authors from different countries and epochs, so research was conducted on different groups of individuals with a variety of ages, sex and ethnicities, which could generate discrepancies in the results according to the person to be measured using each formula, and likewise, each formula differs in the number of folds to be measured:

  • Less number of skinfolds to take (2 - 3) - less time to complete, less precision in the results.
  • More skinfolds (4 - 9) more precision, but it takes longer to perform.

However, these authors mainly search that a population-wide use could be given according to the needs and objectives of each person.

Next, will look at the differences between the formulas most used by health and sports professionals.

List of Formulas for Calculating % Body Fat

  • Jackson - Pollock 7: measurement of 7 skinfolds, age between 18 and 61 years, differs between men and women, for general population and fit.
  • Jackson - Pollock 4: measurement of 4 skinfolds, age between 18 and 61 years, differs between men and women, for general population and fit.
  • Parillo: measurement of 9 skinfolds, any age, equal for men and women, for general population.
  • Slaughter – Lohman: measurement of 2 skinfolds, age between 8 and 18 years, differs between boys and girls, for general population.
  • Yuhasz: measurement of 6 skinfolds, any age, differs between men and women, for high performance athletes or bodybuilders.
  • Boileau: measurement of 2 skinfolds, age between 6 and 18 years, differs between men and women, for high performance athletes, mainly wrestling.

 


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