Why traditional BIA is flawed and how we’ve revolutionised body composition analysis

Why traditional BIA is flawed and how we’ve revolutionised body composition analysis

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis has come a long way since it debuted in the early 60’s. Over the years, we have seen the progression and increase in accuracy and reproducibility as the technology has evolved.

HOW IT STARTED

Original BIA, although innovative for it’s time, was extremely flawed.

BIA initially used a single frequency which measured only the extracellular water (the water outside your cells), and it only measured one side of the body.

It was fundamentally flawed in the sense that an assumption was made that one side of the body is exactly the same as the other. We know that is not the case at all. If we look at people that are one side dominant (eg tennis players or a pitcher), you will find that one side of the body can be slightly more developed than the other. So the conclusion was that most of the assessments were based on a guess.

WHAT THEY DID NEXT

After it was concluded that traditional BIA wasn’t really an effective way of measuring the extracellular water or the intracellular water, they started putting what is called empirical estimations into the equation. What that meant was they used an assumption method based on your inputted data, which generally refers to age, gender and sometimes ethnicity.

As BIA developed, instead of looking at the body as one cylinder they broke it up into 5 cylinders – these cylinders were made up of each individual limb and your trunk. By measuring each cylinder, they are able to independently and effectively measure these areas in order to get a much more precise method.

There are some BIA devices out there that measure on a 5 cylinder method; however, they still use antiquated technology requiring the empirical estimations, that being assumptions based on age and gender, to determine your results, rather than actually measuring you.

HOW INBODY CHANGED THE GAME

Dr Cha invented InBody in the 90’s and conquered these limitations. He went one step further by overcoming the constraints of using empirical estimations in the measurement of someone.

This required vast technology and through this, he was able to eradicate the need for empirical estimations and ensure the InBody device’s measure someone precisely as they are.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

InBody BIA uses what we call the impedance, or the resistance, of you.

Small alternating currents are sent through the body which measures the different resistance of the makeup of the body. For example, body fat compared to body water (such as blood) has a much weaker conductivity, which equals relatively high impedance.

If you did a scan 4 times in a row, even though the body is changing slightly, your impedance won’t change much in the small amount of time spent scanning.

If you were to test this by scanning 4 times in a row on an InBody device and changing your age and gender with each scan, you would recognise the impedance wouldn’t change and therefore your measurement wouldn’t change, regardless of the inputted data (age and gender).

WHY DOES INBODY STILL ASK FOR AGE AND GENDER?

The reason InBody requires this information is to display guidelines on the result sheet so you can compare your measurements against suggested ‘normal ranges’ for your age and gender. This has nothing to do with your measurement.

If you tested a generic device by changing the age and gender when scanning, you would have received 4 radically different results, yet your impedance, the resistance of you, has not changed during that time.

WHY HAVE THE RESULTS CHANGED?

This is a really important concept to grasp – these generic devices are using BIA, but they mostly utilise a software program that uses formulas based on age and gender to produce their results. By changing the age and gender, the inconsistent results show that the device is using that information and not actually measuring the user.

As an example, if you added 10 years to your age, then it would provide results based on how it expects your body composition to be if you were 10 years older.

Backed by Science

InBody has hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies behind it and as such, it is used by many of the top researchers because it doesn’t use age and gender in the measurement of you.

You won’t find these generic devices within the Medical industry. Nor will you find them in Universities being utilised for research purposes, because you can’t provide facts based on an assumption.

You need to do research by actually measuring something.

And that’s where InBody’s patented technology is unique.

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Fine Tune Your Clients Training

Fine Tune Your Clients Training

How do you define a good workout?

Within a gym environment, it is safe to say that most people will have a different interpretation of how they describe a good work out. These definitions can vary from having a good “pump”, being out of breath, how sweaty they get and whether or not they vomit at the end. While these can certainly indicate that you’ve worked hard, how do you know that what you’re doing is getting you closer to your goal?

When you get in a car, your objective is to go from “A” to “B”. If you jump in the car and drive it really hard, like doing burnouts, how do you know that you are getting closer to “B”?

In a car, you already know what “B” is but in a gym environment, many people do not know how to define what their “B” is, nor do they have a precise means of measuring if the training they are doing is getting them closer to “B”. Just like driving a car where you are constantly monitoring you’re on the quickest path to reach your destination, it makes sense to do the same in a training environment – ensuring you’re on track and minimise wasted time in the gym.

InBody can fulfil both of those requirements.

When training your clients, you need a way to validate and fine-tune your training methods to make sure they are on track.

Having them do an InBody scan is the first step. This not only gives them their starting point, but you can also find their “B” and set them a realistic, informed goal from the beginning.

Each scan offers a comprehensive report, measuring over 40 parameters of the body – it not only measures how much body fat and muscle mass your client has, it also breaks this information down further to show you where both are stored throughout their body. This is a great way to see any imbalances that your client may have; for extreme imbalances, you may need to adjust their plan or incorporate certain exercises to bring the body parts into proportion.

Keep them on track.

InBody devices are a great tool to show clients their body composition so that it makes them more aware of where they are currently sitting, while also showing them that there is more to their “weight” than just a number on a scale. By breaking the information down into an easy-to-read result sheet, they can further understand what areas they need to work on – this creates leverage for change for the client but most importantly, they can monitor their improvement so they can keep motivated to continue on their journey to “B”.

Every Personal Trainer knows that you will not always have clients that follow your advice. InBody scans are a great way to identify if a client may be straying from their plan; you may have prescribed a plan that you know has had great success only to find that a client has had less than desirable results. When these precise results are right in front of them, it is difficult to deny that they weren’t following the advice provided.

What sets YOU apart from the rest?

When you’re a good trainer, you want results. Why do people leave the gym? Because they cant see these results. Although it may be obvious that their body composition is changing, they cant see the results for themselves.

By utilising an InBody device, you can continue tracking client results to prove that changes are happening and they are on track to reach their goal and, if not, you can make tweaks or changes to get them back on track straight away.

Current methods are a guess; whether you’re weighing yourself or looking in the mirror, these cannot prove definitively that your training plan is working, but with InBody’s standalone, patented technology, there is no denying what’s on paper.

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How a nationwide transport company used InBody to monitor employee health

How a nationwide transport company used InBody to monitor employee health

In the past few years, we’ve seen a steady increase within corporate companies who have started to monitor and actively assist their staff in keeping a healthy lifestyle.

A large Australian Transport company recognised the need for use and application of InBody Body Composition Analysers within their business. They were concerned that a combination of long distance driving and potentially inadequate dietary choices and exercise regimes would have a negative effect on their employees’ health.

  • 62% of Australian workers are overweight
  • Only 8% eat 5 or more serves of Fruit & Vegetables per day
  • Unhealthy employees take up to 9 times more sick leave than their healthy colleagues

Source

After identifying this issue, they then needed to find a way to measure the body composition of their drivers that was non discriminatory and non invasive, yet extremely precise.

What they did

Following on from their research, they decided to introduce InBody Body Composition Analysers into their workplace.

They started to scan their staff at different stages of their employment; from pre-employment, early employment and continuing on throughout the total duration of their time with the company.

The scanning covered a vast array of people – all different ages, genders, ethnicity and activity levels.

What they found

With regular scanning, they found a consistent trend that over time, the body composition of their drivers changed unfavourably. Some of the key markers that they followed were Skeletal Muscle Mass and Visceral Fat.

If Skeletal Muscle Mass went down and Visceral Fat went up, intervention would ideally be implemented.

Having the ability to precisely identify the change gave them the ability to provide appropriate advice from health care professionals, to allow their drivers to exercise more and change their dietary habits.

This ultimately created a blueprint, whereby they could reduce the impact of their employee’s job role causing a downturn in their overall health.

How it helped

TRUCK DRIVER FACTS

  • Professional truck drivers have a 7% higher chance of developing depression than other Australians
  • Drivers with moderate depression are twice as likely to have an accident while driving, while 27% of drivers experiencing severe depression are six times more likely to have an accident
  • Between 2008–09 and 2014–15, truck drivers had one of the highest rates of workers’ compensation claims of the circulatory system (for example stroke, coronary artery disease, hypertension and heart failure).

Given the nature of the job, they took necessary steps to minimise the risks to their employees and maximise their health with ongoing monitoring. They certainly didn’t want a condition where many years later they were sued or litigated against with the argumentative point being that the job had a negative impact on health and caused a serious health condition.

The test is quick and simple so there was no interruption to their employees normal duties, yet they were able to precisely measure those markers and provide feedback to the drivers.

With this information, the drivers saw the necessity to make change and were given the tools to do so and it worked extremely well.

It was a due diligence operation of the company to look after the welfare of their employees and ensure that their health and well-being remain a priority. It has since proven to be successful and is still being implemented today.

 

http://services.thomson.com.au/cpdnews/docs/OccHealthNews/TWU_Report_FINAL.pdf
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/transport

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How healthy is your team & why does it matter?

How healthy is your team & why does it matter?

Whether you run a small team or a large company, absenteeism is not ideal.

It’s becoming even more important to ensure the health and wellness of your team is treated as a priority – after all, your staff are your greatest asset.

What You Need To Know

Nearly sixty percent of Australian workers are overweight or obese, with those who are overweight or obese more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease and are more likely to be absent from work.(1)

Forty nine percent of the Australian working population has an inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables.(2)

Seventy one percent of the Australian working population is not getting enough physical activity. (3)

The direct cost to employers for Stress Related Absenteeism each year is $3.48b (4)

The increase in preventable disease and workplace injury resulting from unhealthy living is a major cause of workplace absence or disruption (5)

Obese workers are likely to have longer injury recovery time compared to those of normal weight. Excess weight may also add complications to injury
treatments (6)

It has been estimated that the healthiest Australian employees are three times more productive at work than their colleagues (7)

What You Can Do To Help

There are many different avenues you can take to encourage a healthy workplace – both big and small. Implementing new things to encourage your employees to move more or eat healthier can do wonders to their health and in turn have a positive impact on your business.

By incorporating Health and Wellness plans into your business, you can help to reduce accidents and work related injuries in the workplace and can save on sick pay costs. You can also help to relieve your employees of added pressure when having to cover those who are absent leading to an increase in morale, job satisfaction, motivation and productivity.

How InBody Can Help

So you’ve taken the leap to promote a workplace health program, but how do you monitor whether it’s working?

Utilising InBody Body Composition Analysers is a great way to establish a baseline with each individual staff member. With a quick and easy 60 second body scan we can measure over 40 different parameters, including a person’s body fat, muscle mass and visceral fat (the potentially dangerous fat around the organs). The importance of ongoing monitoring is to track and measure change in their body composition. The scans are a simple, yet effective, way to encourage your staff to continue on their Health and Wellbeing journey.

To find out more about how InBody Body Composition Analysers can assist your Health and Wellness program, download our guide below:

(1) Australian Government Department of Health 

(2) http://www.healthyworkers.gov.au/internet/hwi/publishing.nsf/Content/eatwell

(3) http://www.healthyworkers.gov.au/internet/hwi/publishing.nsf/Content/movemore

(4) Medibank Private 2008 http://www.medibank.com.au/Client/Documents/Pdfs/The-Cost-of-Workplace-Stress.pdf

(5) Medibank Private (2005) The Health of Australia’s Workforce, www.medibank.com.au/pdfs/MEDI_Workplace_Web_Sp.pdf

(6) (Connecticut Hospital Association 2005).

(7) Medibank Private (2005) The Health of Australia’s Workforce, www.medibank.com.au/pdfs/MEDI_Workplace_Web_Sp.pdf

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