Skinfold calipers are used in the measurement of skinfold thickness and the estimation of total body fat. Calipers are a precise measurement tool, and it important to make sure that the calibration is correct.
Studies at the Australian Institute of Sport have shown that a 1-2 g.mm decrease in jaw closing pressure will increase a sum of skinfolds by ~10%.
It is well accepted that of great importance is the technique used in measuring skinfolds. Great care is taken so that the proper measurement procedures are used to minimize measurement error, but the accuracy of the measurement tool is usually forgotten about.
To calibrate the Harpenden Skinfold Calipers a special Calibration Kit can be purchased, which is quite expensive. The place your bought your calipers from may offer re-calibration services. In Australia, Harpenden calipers can be calibrated at the Australian Institute of Sport through the Laboratory Standards (LSAS) scheme. For other calipers, some products claim that they never need calibration, or are self calibrating such as the Fat Track which has a "self-calibration" feature. Whatever caliper that you used, it would be wise to be reassured with a regular calibration of your caliper to ensure that you are being accurate in your measurements. It is possible to buy just the calibration block for the Lange Skinfold Caliper.
- G.B. Hewitt, R.T. Withers, A.G. Brooks, G.F. Woods, L.A. Day. (2002) Improved rig for dynamically calibrating skinfold calipers: Comparison between Harpenden and Slim Guide instruments. American Journal of Human Biology, Vol 14: pp 721-727.
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Calibration Gauge Block for Lange Skinfold Caliper — The calibration block is used to check the calibration of the Lange Skinfold Caliper.
- Skinfold Caliper Guide
- Skinfold Caliper Store
- Description of standard skinfold sites
- Skinfold measurement procedure
- About body composition tests
- Skinfold Results
- Videos of Anthropometric Tests including Skinfold Testing.
- Calibrating fitness testing equipment