Body Composition Analysis in Dancers Methods and Recommendations

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Two clinical and four field methods are discussed with regard to their efficacy in estimating the body composition of dancers. The techniques, underlying assumptions, and ranges of error of the clinical methods of hydrostatic weighing (HW) and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and the four field methods of skinfolds (SKF), bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA), near-infrared interactance (NIR), and body mass index (BMI) are delineated, as are the sources of measurement error. Recommendations are made with regards to the most accurate manner of determining and tracking a dancer's percent body fat (%BF). Differences in dance style, body type, ethnicity, sex, and age will affect the choice of body composition method, equation used, and recommendations for optimal healthy levels of %BF. Allied health professionals working with dancers need to remain aware of methodology, technical considerations, new research, and the importance of incorporating education into their interpretation of the results of body composition testing in dancers.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physical Performance and Development, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 2: Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida 3: Department of Theatre and Dance, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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