What is Body Composition Analysis?
Body composition and fluid status is not just about body weight. Body composition analysis is an important means of assessing ones’ nutritional status and well-being. Whole body electrical impedance is a simple, accurate and reliable measurement of body composition. By measuring the ability of one’s body to conduct electricity, the various body compartments and composition can be calculated. This can be achieve by introducing a small, painless 500-800 microampere signal and measures the conductive potential using a bioelectrical impedance meter.

How safe is the Body Composition Analysis?
The measurement of body composition by bioelectrical impedance is a simple, safe, and painless. There is no long term risk or complication.

Who should have a Body Composition Analysis?
Anyone who is keen to find out about their body geometry, body water distribution and fat composition. However, pregnant mothers and people with pacemakers or life-supporting apparatus should only undergo this examination after discussion and with close supervision by medical personnel.

How can I prepare for a Body Composition Analysis?
No special preparation is required. You will be taken to a room and asked to lie flat during that period.

How is a Body Composition Analysis done?
Two pairs of electrodes will be attached to you. The first pair of electrodes will be placed on your wrist and hand and the second pair of electrodes will be placed at the ankle and foot of the same side.

A single frequency low amplitude imperceptible current (500-800 microampere at 50kHz) will be introduced via the outer electrodes and voltage decrease will be detected by the electrodes at the wrist and ankle. Based on these measurements, body composition and various bioelectrical impedance parameters will be calculated.

How long does a Body Composition Analysis take?
The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

What information can be obtained from a Body Composition Analysis?
Using this technique, various body composition and parameters can be obtained including:

  1. Fat mass – This indicates the actual weight of fat on your body.
  2. Lean body mass – This is the weight of a person excluding the adipose fat tissue. This correlates well with mortality and morbidity.
  3. Resting metabolic rate – The minimum calories required to sustain vital function of the body at rest.
  4. Total body water
  5. Intracellular water
  6. Body cell mass – This is the mass of all metabolically active living tissues and cells of the body. It is an accurate measurement of one’s nutritional status.
  7. Minerals
  8. Protein
  9. Muscle mass
  10. Total body calcium
  11. Glycogen
  12. Phase angle – It has been showed that phase angle is a good indicator of patients’ well-being.
  13. Reactance – Reactance refers to the well being of the cells in our body. Lower reactance is associated with cell death and cell breakdown.

How reliable is the Body Composition Analysis?
The body composition analysis has its limitations. As the body geometry and body water distribution may differ in obese state, bioelectrical impedance analysis using formula developed in normal weight subjects may underestimates the amount of body fat in severely obese people.

Disclaimer: This is only general information. A doctor should be contacted if you need any medical advice or if medical decisions need to be made.