Validity of leg-to-leg bioelectrical impedance measurement in males

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2001 Sep;41(3):411-4.


Background: This study determined the validity of the leg-to-leg bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) system (Tanita Body Fat Analyzer, TBF 105, Tanita Corporation of America, Inc., Arlington Heights, IL) in estimating body composition in males.

Experimental design: Fat-free mass (FFM) was estimated using BIA and underwater weighing, and compared.

Setting: Subjects were recruited from the community.

Participants: Heterogeneous group of males (N=192) was recruited, with a mean+/-SD age of 39.0+/-16.8 yrs; body mass index, 26.0+/-4.0 kg/m2, percent body fat, 18.1+/-8.9 percent.

Measures: Prior to BIA testing, subjects were required to adhere to standard BIA testing guidelines, and bioelectrical impedance was measured in subjects standing erect with bare feet on the analyzer's footpads, and wearing a swimsuit. Underwater weighing was conducted using standard procedures, with direct measurement of residual volume.

Results: A Bland-Altman plot of difference between FFM measured by underwater weighing and BIA versus average FFM by the two methods showed no systematic difference (mean difference, 0.07+/-3.5 kg). FFM was estimated at 66.3+/-8.6 kg with underwater weighing, and 66.2+/-7.7 kg with BIA (r=0.92, p<0.001; SEE 3.5 kg).

Conclusions: These data indicate that the leg-to-leg bioelectrical impedance system accurately assesses FFM in a heterogenous group of males when compared to underwater weighing.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Humans
  • Leg*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skinfold Thickness