Fat Measure Skinfold Caliper

Skinfold calipers are used in the measurement of skinfold thickness and the estimation of total body fat. There are a range of skinfold calipers available, including the following simple budget model. See also the similar Accumeasure and Personal Body Fat Tester calipers.

The Fat Measure Skinfold Caliper is an easy to use and very low cost caliper for the measurement of body fat percent. This is a very basic caliper (hence the price), but it surprisingly gives quite repeatable and accurate measurements when used correctly. Its small lightweight size makes it suitable for taking your own skinfold measurements in the privacy of your home, and there are charts included so you can easily convert these to percent body fat. These calipers are actually designed for self testing, with a small slider on the scale that that stays in place after the measurement is made.

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fat measure caliperFeatures

skinfold caliper detailHow to Use

There are many possible skinfold sites to use for body fat calculation, though not all are appropriate if you are taking your own measurement. The site recommended for using these calipers is the suprailliac, and there are charts available for converting this measure to a percent bodyfat. It is standard for measurements to be taken on the right side of the body.

The location of suprailliac is approximately one inch above the point of the hip bone (according to the documents that come with the calipers). More accurately, the mark is at the intersection of a line joining the front part of hip bone to the front fold of the armpit, and a horizontal line at the level of the top of the hip bone at the side (see supraspinale/suprailliac). Most importantly, make sure that the same location is used each time you take a measurement.

Important: Before each measurement, make sure the caliper spring arm is released from the locking notch, and the slider on the scale is moved all the way to the far right.

Hold the caliper in your right hand, and take a pinch at the site with your left hand to raise a double layer of skin and the underlying adipose tissue, but not the muscle. The pinch is directed towards the center line and downward, following the natural fold of the skin (at an approximate angle of 45 degrees). The calipers are then applied 1 cm next to the pinch. Press the thumb on the caliper arm until the notch is engaged, and immediately stop pinching. You can now take a reading off the scale. You should take at least two measurements. If the two measurements differ greatly, a third should then be done, then the median value taken.

Refer to the male and female fat measurement charts that come with the calipers to determine your body fat percent. Look for your age group, the move across to the appropriate fat measure reading in millimeters. You can then see a percentage score, and below a rating of lean, ideal, average or above average.

For more information see the complete guidelines for taking skinfold measurements.

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