Body Composition and its importance

By: saveetha institute of medical & technical sciences
CHENNAI, India - Feb. 11, 2024 - PRLog -- ody composition - is defined as the makeup of the body in terms of lean body mass (LBM) and fat mass.  Lean body mass represents the portion of the body that isn't fat (i.e. bone mass, internal organs, blood, connective tissue and muscle).  There are two types of body fat:  essential and non-essential..

Essential body fat  is fat needed to maintain everyday life activities: 2% - 4% in males; 10% - 12% in females.  These estimates are the lowest limits for maintaining good health.  Fat functions to: protect internal organs; is a component of nervous tissue and hormones; and is the predominant supplier of energy when the body is at rest.

Non-essential body fat is adipose tissue and is mainly considered storage fat which can be used as an emergency energy supply.

One of the criteria of physical fitness relates to how lean a client's body mass is: the leaner the client the more fit and healthy they are considered to be.  There are situations where an individual may become too lean for good health as in the case of the anorexic individual.  Another example can be seen with bodybuilders who temporarily diminish their body fat content to an unhealthy level in order to compete more successfully in a figure or physique contest.  Therefore, part of a client's overall fitness program may include steps to improve his/her body composition.  Specifically they may wish to: reduce excess body fat; increase their lean body weight; decrease fat mass, increase lean mass.

Personal trainers should be more concerned with the composition of the client's overall body weight rather than scale weight.  Consequently, he/she can more effectively advise a client by evaluating the percent of a client's lean body weight.

Estimating Body Composition

Unfortunately, the only way to directly and precisely measure body composition is during an autopsy by dissection.   For this reason, trainers must rely on the following indirect methods for estimating body composition in humans:

1.    Body weight measured by a balance beam or digital scale used in conjunction with other devices and methods such as height weight-tables, body mass index and waist to hip ratio.[1] While this method does not itself indicate body composition, it does reflect over or under weight when compared to general population.

2.    Anthropometric assessments include skinfold and girth measurements, bioelectrical impedance and near infrared interactance.

Laboratory methods such as hydrostatic weighing, where the client is weighed submerged in a tank of water is another means of estimating body composition.  However it should be noted that this method is usually costly and requires heavy and difficult to manage equipment.
Source:saveetha institute of medical & technical sciences
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