How to measure body fat with a skinfold caliper

This guide tells how to use a skinfold caliper and how to choose the right test.

Slimguide skinfold caliperCalipers
First of all you need a skinfold caliper. Many different qualities are available on the market today. Our recommandation is, that if you need research grade quality, you should go for the Harpenden skinfold caliper or the Lange skinfold caliper ($300-$400). If you just need a good caliper at an affordable price, we recommend the Slim Guide caliper ($20-$30).


Harpenden skinfold caliperFormulas
Currently we are providing the Durnin and Womersley formula , which is suitable for most purposes and the Slaugther formula for children. Later more protocols will follow.


Conducting the measurements
It is important that you practice and get experienced with the measurements in order to achieve a high reliability in your measurements.

measuring skinfold1. When using the caliper you gently pinch a skinfold with your thumb and index finger.
2. 1-2 cm aside from your fingers you place the measuring tips of the caliper.
3. Release the caliper and wait 1-2 seconds before you make the reading on the calipers scale.
4. Repeat an additional 2 times at the same spot. Use the average of the 3 readings.




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