By dotFIT experts
on October 07, 2008
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Why does my age change my body fat reading using Skyndex calipers?

Why does my age change my body fat reading using Skyndex calipers?

Answer:  The different settings on the Skyndex caliper dial are meant to account for the different types of body fat distribution between men and women as well as the changes that occur with aging. With age, people tend to store more fat around the organs, in skeletal muscle and under the abdominal wall, which is also called visceral fat. This additional fat is not measured directly by skin fold calipers, so when scientists developed the mathematical formulas that relate skin fold measurements to body fat, they had to account for this effect of aging by using different equations. If you are in great shape, especially for your age, you can ask your trainer to use a different number.

In the end, what matters is that the same setting is used each time so you are accurately recording change over time, not whether you are actually 18% vs. 22% body fat. In other words, skin fold calipers are always directionally correct and tell you if you are headed in the right direction.

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