Evaluation of Air Displacement for Assessing Body Composition of Collegiate Wrestlers

Alan C. Utter, Fredric L. Goss, Pamela Swan, Gregory S. Harris, Robert J. Robertson, Gregory A. Trone

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Scopus citations


    Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy of air displacement plethysmography (ADP) by using the BOD POD® in comparison with hydrostatic weighing (HW) in a collegiate wrestling population in hydrated and acutely dehydrated states. Methods: Body composition was determined by ADP, HW, and three-site skinfolds (SK) in 66 NCAA Division I collegiate wrestlers before and after acute dehydration (2.6% reduction in body mass). For all methods, body density (Db) was converted to percent body fat (%BF) by using the Brozek equation for Euro-Americans and the Schutte equation for African-Americans. Results: There were no significant differences between ADP and HW for Db, %BF, and fat-free mass (FFM) in either the hydrated or dehydrated states. The standard errors of the estimate for %BF estimated from ADP with HW as the reference method were 2.12% (hydrated) and 2.16% (dehydrated); prediction errors were 2.35% (hydrated) and 2.49% (dehydrated). Bland-Altman plots of Db and %BF showed no systematic bias, and 64 out 66 subjects fell within the 95% limits of agreement (mean difference ± 2 SD) for both variables. For SK, %BF was significantly higher than HW in both the hydrated and dehydrated state. All methods (ADP, HW, and SK) showed a significant decrease in FFM from the hydrated to the dehydrated state. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the BOD POD® air displacement method provides similar estimates of Db, %BF, and FFM when compared with HW in a heterogeneous collegiate wrestling population during hydrated and acutely dehydrated states. Pretest guidelines to ensure normal hydration status before body composition assessment using any method must be followed to minimize measurement error in %BF.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)500-505
    Number of pages6
    JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


    • Bod pod
    • Body fat
    • Dehydration
    • Wrestling

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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