Calf Girth

Girths are circumference measures at standard anatomical sites around the body. The calf girth measurement is a measure of the circumference of the lower leg. See the list of girth measurement locations.

purpose: To measure the circumference of the calf, as a measure of the underlying musculature and adipose tissue. Girth measurements combined with skinfold measurements can give a clearer picture of changes in tissue composition and distribution of muscle and fat.

equipment required: flexible metal tape measure and pen suitable for marking the skin. If a plastic or cloth tape is used, it should be checked regularly against a metal tape as they may stretch over time.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender. See more details of pre-test procedures.

calf girth measureprocedure: This girth measurement is usually taken on the right side of the body. The subject stands erect with their weight evenly distributed on both feet and legs slightly apart. The measurement is taken at the level of the largest circumference of the calf. The maximal girth is not always obvious, and the tape may need to be moved up and down to find the point of maximum circumference. When recording, you need to make sure the tape is not too tight or too loose, is lying flat on the skin, and is horizontal. It may help to have the subject stand on a box to make the measurement easier.

reliability: Factors that may affect reliability include changes to the testing personnel, constant and even tension on the tape, and correct landmarking (finding the correct anatomical site for measurement).

advantages: low costs involved in the testing procedure, and ease of self testing

comments: Clothing over the site should be removed if possible to make sure measuring tape is positioned correctly and that the correct circumference is determined.

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