Which test is most accurate for body composition?

Hydrostatic weighing is considered the gold standard as mentioned, but this tends to be a little impractical in a gym setting. Other options are to use a handheld bioelectric impedance device (BIA), such as an Omoron, or skinfold caliper that measure subcutaneaous fat by pinching certain areas of the body. While BIA devices can give you an ok measurement to work with, they can vary drastically depending on how much you have eaten or drank before testing.  A qualified and experienced professional will give you much more accurate and consistent readings using the skinfold calipers.  This is the preferred method of testing in a gym setting where we may not have access to larger or more costly devices like hydrostatic weighing, Bod Pod, and DEXA scan.   
Hydrostatic weighing is still touted the “gold standard” in body composition assessment, but newer technology such as the Bod Pod and DEXA scan are becoming increasingly favored. 

Continue Learning about Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

Should I jump into local races even if I am not in race shape yet?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Absolutely! Since there’s so much more to being a successful cyclist than merely having great fi...
More Answers
I joined a gym to lose weight, but I am gaining weight. Is it muscle?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
If you are new to training, you might be overestimating your expenditure. For example, if you’re...
More Answers
What tests are used to assess upper body agility and stabilization?
Kristy Lee Wilson - Sharecare Fitness ExpertKristy Lee Wilson - Sharecare Fitness Expert
The Davies test is used to assess upper body agility and stabilization. To peform the Davies Test, p...
More Answers
How do medications affect my health/fitness assessment?
Clyde Mealy, M.S., NASM, ACSM, IYCA, ISSA, TRXClyde Mealy, M.S., NASM, ACSM, IYCA, ISSA, TRX
Great question... If you are taking prescription medication(s) consult your physician first for medi...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.