Yin and yang of body composition assessment

Chin J Integr Med. 2011 Sep;17(9):675-9. doi: 10.1007/s11655-011-0844-6. Epub 2011 Sep 11.


Objective: [corrected] To define if such crucial body composition parameters like body density (Db) and body surface area (BSA) could be considered in the frame of yin-yang concept, i.e., one of the most popular in conventional biomedical science theories of Chinese medicine.

Methods: Standardized Eurofit Pysical Fitness Test Battery reports of 715 junior school children have been evaluated for association of their body composition parameters with corresponding motoric fitness test results. Equations for BSA and Db calculation included height, weight, and skin-fold thickness values of the tests.

Results: Correlative analysis of major physical fitness parameters, obtained from 715 junior school children, demonstrated that participants with high BSA/Db ratio had better yang-featured anaerobic performance, whereas those with low BSA/Db ratio presented with better yin-featured aerobic performance. This result coincided with proposed suggestions to treat BSA as external yang component and Db as internal yin component of body composition. Calculated confidence intervals for BSA/Db ratio ranged between 1.073-1.15, which can be accepted as optimal for junior school children yang/yin ratio of body composition.

Conclusion: Easily accessible BSA and Db can provide specialists with useful preliminary information for generating reasonable exercise and nutritional programs.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Surface Area
  • Child
  • Cyprus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness
  • Yin-Yang*