Application of bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropometry as interchangeable methods to assess body composition of sportspersons.

Alisha Khan, Jyotsna Aggarwala, Meenu Dhingra


Objective: The study was conducted to find application of bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropometry as interchangeable methods to assess body composition of sportspersons.

Design: A 4 months long cross-sectional study was conducted at Sports Authority of India during pre-competition period.

Method: 83 national and international level players from Sports Authority of India with age 18-25 years were selected as participants and body fat percentage was estimated using both the techniques following strict adherence to pre-measurement criteria. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all the parameters. Bland-Altman analysis was carried out to compare the methods.

Result: Internal consistency of the data was confirmed by Pearson’s correlation value of 0.739 at p≤0.05. Mean body fat percentage from anthropometry came out to be 13.08±5.00 and from BIA 14.78±9.29. Mean difference between the body fat percent values between anthropometry and BIA was found to be 1.70±6.53. Limits of agreement from Bland-Altman plot were found to be clinically significant with values from -14.51 to 11.11 at 95% confidence interval suggesting large discrepancies.

Discussion: Based upon the findings of the study, it is not advisable to use anthropometry and BIA as interchangeable methods of body fat estimation however results need to be validated with further studies in future. Out of the two methods, BIA involves certain pre-measurement criteria like players falling in normal BMI ranges with emptied bladder, no vigorous training and food beverage intake before assessment. As, a result the study suggests anthropometry as a preferred method for body fat estimation of sportspersons.


Anthropometry; body composition; Durnin and Womersley; method comparison; Bland Altman

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