Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):898-903.

Comparison of air-displacement plethysmography with hydrostatic weighing and bioelectrical impedance analysis for the assessment of body composition in healthy adults.

Author information

Department of Medicine, School of Nursing, and the General Clinical Research Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.



Over the past decade, considerable attention has been paid to accurately measuring body composition in diverse populations. Recently, the use of air-displacement plethysmography (AP) was proposed as an accurate, comfortable, and accessible method of body-composition analysis.


The purpose of this study was to compare measurements of percentage body fat (%BF) by AP and 2 other established techniques, hydrostatic weighing (HW) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), in adults.


The sample consisted of healthy men (n = 23) and women (n = 24). %BF was measured by AP, HW, and BIA.


In the total group, %BF(AP) (25.0+/-8.9%) was not significantly different from %BF(HW) (25.1+/-7.7%) or %BF(BIA) (23.9+/-7.7%), and %BF(AP) was significantly correlated with %BF(HW) (r = 0.944, P < 0.001) and with %BF(BIA) (r = 0.859, P < 0.01). Compared with HW, AP underestimated %BF in men (by -1.24+/-3.12%) but overestimated %BF in women (by 1.02+/-2.48%), indicating a significant sex effect (P < 0.05). The differences in estimation between AP and BIA and between BIA and HW were not significantly different between the sexes.


AP is an accurate method for assessing body composition in healthy adults. Future studies should assess further the cause of the individual variations with this new method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center