Body Composition Testing | CHFA

A Body Composition Test measures the amount of fat, muscle and bone tissue in your body.

Why would I want a body composition test?

The results of a body composition test can help you manage body weight, see the effect of your diet and your training program, and improve your health and your athletic performance. Results can be used by a physician as a preventative health measure, by a nutritionist to create a diet plan, or by a personal trainer to build a personalized training program.


Which body composition test is right for me?

Read the information below to determine which body composition test is the right one for you.


Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)

DEXA scanThe DEXA technology measures the amount of fat, lean and bone mass using x-rays.

  • Note: A prescription from your physician for the DEXA scan is required to perform this test. Please bring the prescription with you or else the test will not be performed.
  • Test Guidelines: Wear or bring clothes that don't have any metal (zippers, snaps, etc.). DEXA scan cannot be performed in the following conditions: 1) surgical implants - for example, hip replacements, joint pins or screws; 2) metallic rods or spinal fusion devices; 3) heart pacemaker; 4) body weight greater than 450 lb.
  • Estimated Test Time: 10-15 Minutes.
  • Sample DEXA scan report [PDF, 1.2k KB]

Why would I want a DEXA test?
DEXA provides very detailed information about the composition of different parts of your body (arms, legs and torso) and an index of bone mineral density.

How long does a DEXA test take?
The scan itself is 2 minutes long but you can expect the entire procedure to take approximately 15 minutes.

Are there any restrictions when taking a DEXA test?
Metal items, such as jewelry, zippers, etc, can not be worn during the test. DEXA scans should NOT be taken if you have surgical implants (e.g. hip replacements, joint pins or screws, etc), heart pacemakers or if you are pregnant.

A prescription from you physician for a DEXA scan is required. If DEXA cannot be performed, or you do not have a prescription, you may choose one of the following tests:

  • BodPod
  • Bioelectrical Impedance Assessment (BIA)



bodpodThe BodPod is an egg-shaped body chamber that measures your body weight and volume to calculate the amount of fat and fat-free mass in your body.

  • Test Guidelines: For this test you will be asked to wear form fitting clothing (i.e. nylon bathing suit or compression shorts and sports bra) and swim cap, and to remove all jewelry.
  • Estimated Test Time: 15 Minutes.
  • Sample Bod Pod report [PDF, 179 KB]

Why would I want a BodPod assessment?
This measurement is considered to be the gold standard of body composition measurement and it is the perfect option if you want to receive accurate and accessible results from frequent assessments.

How long does a BodPod assessment take?
The measurement itself takes only 2 minutes but you can expect the entire procedure to take approximately 15 minutes.

Are there any restrictions when taking a BodPod assessment?
There are no specific restrictions for this test but it may feel uncomfortable if you have fear of small spaces.


Bioelectrical Impedance Assessment (BIA)

bia assessmentThe bioelectrical impedance assessment (BIA) estimates total body water which can be used to estimate fat-free mass and consequently body fat by difference with body weight.

Why would I want a BIA?
This test is fast, easy to perform and it causes the least discomfort.

How long does a BIA take?
The measurement itself only takes 30 seconds but a typical BIA assessment usually takes approximately 5 minutes.

Are there any restrictions when taking a BIA?
There are no specific restrictions for this test. We recommend you to be normally hydrated to obtain reliable results.



CHFA Staff

Where We're Located

Leon Levine Hall
1179 State Farm Rd
Boone, NC 28608