Why Choose Body Fat Caliper to Measure Your Body Fat ?

by WinTape

Why Choose Body Fat Caliper to Measure Your Body Fat ?

Firstly, we must have a clear understanding about the difference between body fat and weight. Physical exercise can help to loose weigh, yet weigh loss does not necessarily means body fat reduction. Body fat percentage refers to the proportion of body fat weight in the overall weight of the human body.People tend to have a misunderstanding about this point. For instance, slender people who don't weigh much may actually have a greater percentage of body fat than more muscular people who weigh more. That's just one reason why your weight on the scale or a set of measurements doesn't necessarily give a true picture of your health.

What does body fat caliper work for?


Body fat caliper is actually a test for body fat. And the body fat test is an attempt to separate every pound of your body into one of two categories: your fat mass and everything else.

A fat caliper or skin fold calculator is a device to measure the width of skin folds. Clinically, the total body fat is estimated by measuring the thickness of the skinfolds. It has a certain linear relationship with the body fat content, and can also indirectly reflect the changes in the body's energy metabolism.

How to use fat calculator to measure body fat?

The person tested must keep both upper arms naturally drooping. The measurement is generally taken on specific sites of body and should be done 3-7 times for accurate results. The tester should pinch the skin and pulls skin fold away from the muscle to make sure that only the skin and fat tissue are being held.

Typically we use body fat caliper on the following body parts:



Under the abdomen and subscapula such as triceps and calf, the amount of subcutaneous fat in the trunk can be seen. The measurement of the triceps (Figure 12.11d) and the calf can assess the fat mass of the limbs.


Suprailium and midaxilla are necessary for women to monitor. The American Physical Fitness Association believes that for the measurement data for the upper humerus (Figure 12.11e) and triceps (Figure 12.11d) are only applicable to women.

In fact, if you conduct medical supervision yourself, you can take the skinfold thickness as a long-term monitoring data.

The body density is estimated by using a reasonable specific population equation and skinfold measurement data, and then the resulting body density is substituted into a formula suitable for a specific population to derive the percentage of body fat. Of course, the skin pleat measurement data has a certain error in the body fat content converted by the formula, but it is enough to use it as a reference for health indicators.

  • Skinfold test formula:

We usually use the Jackson and Pollock equation to calculate body density. For women : 1.0994921 - (0.0009929 x the sum of the skinfold sites in millimeters) + (0.0000023 x the sum squared) - (0.0001392 x age). For men: 1.10938 - (0.0008267 x sum) + (0.0000016 x sum squared) - (0.0002574 x age). Once you've calculated body density, you calculate percent fat by using the equation [(495 / body density) - 450] x 100.

Are body fat calipers accurate enough?

Compared to electrical scales and methods, skinfold testing is becoming somewhat of an out-of-date device. However, if you have the test done by the same tester under similar conditions, you may still find body fat caliper a useful way to determine body composition change over time. What’s more, skinfold calculator is enough for daily measurement. It is more economical than electrical impedance methods and allows more frequent use under more situations.