Body Composition Testing

Hydrostatic Weighing

Hydrostatic weighing is the "gold standard" and the most widely used laboratory procedure for measuring body composition. It is useful to have an assessment such as this when trying to make physical changes because body weight by itself doesn't tell us how our weight is distributed; how much is lean and how much is fat.

Contrary to popular belief, everybody needs a certain amount of fat to maintain good health. Fat plays a major role in regulating hormones, nerve function, organ protection and supplies fuel (energy) to our body.

Lean weight is also essential as it supports our bone health, is the main tissue that burns calories and makes us feel good and strong. Muscle is often referred to as the "metabolic engine." Thus the more you have the more efficiently you'll burn fat.

It is recommended while participating in a program and/or making a change in lifestyle - that you have your body composition checked every six to eight weeks until you've reached your goal.

Hydrostatic weighing requires full submersion in the water. If you are not comfortable in the water, this may not be the best method for you. We can also determine your body composition via the skin-fold caliper method.

To prepare for hydrostatic weighing, we ask that you limit carbonated beverages and other gas forming foods for 12 hours prior to the test. It is also a good idea not to exercise vigorously 6 hours before the test.

Cost & What to bring:

  • Hydrostatic Weighing: cost $60 ($40 after the initial visit), swimsuit, towel and toiletries (locker facility with shower available)
  • Skin-fold Caliper Method: cost $20, shorts and tank top

Call Adventist Health/Wellness Services to schedule an appointment at (503) 408-7043.