Body Composition

How To Measure Body Fat: 5 Methods Ranked By Accuracy

Sandra Wu
March 15, 2024

Here's a look at the top methods for measuring body fat, detailing the complexity and accessibility of each.

Here's a look at the top methods for measuring body fat, detailing the complexity and accessibility of each.

The Spren app takes a prominent spot just after the DEXA scan in terms of accuracy.

  1. DEXA Scan

Precision Unmatched

Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is renowned for its precise body composition analysis, offering a breakdown of bone density, muscle mass, and fat percentage.

How and Where?

DEXA scans are typically conducted in medical labs or hospitals. The process involves lying on a table while a machine passes over your body, emitting a low-dose X-ray.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Exceptional accuracy and detailed composition insights.
  • Cons: Costs can be prohibitive, and it requires a visit to a specialized facility.

  1. Spren 

The Spren app defies traditional methods by leveraging computer imaging, AI, and machine learning to process full-body images for precise body composition readings. Its accuracy rivals DEXA scans and has been validated by multiple independent studies.

Beyond Just Measurements

  • Tailored nutrition plans and (soon food logging) for reaching body composition goals.
  • Includes other hardware-free technology like fingerprint HRV readings

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Unmatched accessibility and comprehensive health insights.
  • Cons: Best results from consistent and proper use.

  1. Hydrostatic Weighing

Hydrostatic weighing, or underwater weighing, measures body density to estimate body fat percentage. This method involves being submerged in water and expelled air from the lungs to get a reading.

The Procedure

Typically conducted in specialized facilities like university labs or some fitness centers, it requires the individual to sit on a scale inside a water tank.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Offers high accuracy.
  • Cons: Accessibility is limited, and the process can be uncomfortable for some.

  1. Skinfold Calipers

A Touch of Tradition

Skinfold measurements are a more manual approach, where calipers gauge the thickness of fat at various body parts to estimate overall body fat.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Affordable and simple to use.
  • Cons: Accuracy depends significantly on the user's technique and experience.

  1. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Scales

Technology at Your Feet

BIA scales, such as those from Withings, Fitbit, and Omron, estimate body fat by sending a weak electrical current through the body.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Convenient for home use and provides instant readings.
  • Cons: Accuracy can be influenced by hydration levels, recent exercise, and other factors.

Download the Spren app

Uncover the intricacies of your body composition with the cutting-edge Spren app, standing tall in accuracy next to DEXA scans. Download Spren today and step into a new era of body composition analysis.

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Sandra Wu

Monitor your Body Composition
The Spren app is the easiest, most accurate way to track your body composition.
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