Five skinfold, 13 circumference and 8 bone diameter measurements were made on college age men and women to determine the best combination of measurements to predict body density as measured by underwater weighing. For the men ( N = 53), mean body density was 1.0646 g/ml ( SD = 0.0138); 15.3% body fat. The triceps and scapula skinfolds and abdomen and forearm circumferences resulted in R = .89; Sey = .0066 g/ml. The best combination of skinfolds or circumferences resulted in identical multiple correlations of R = .86.For the women (N = 69), mean body density was 1.034 (SD = 0.0152); 25.6% body fat. The highest multiple correlation to predict density was obtained by use of iliac and scapula skinfolds, elbow diameter, and thigh girth (R i= .84; Sey = .0086 g/ml). The prediction equation based on circumferences was more accurate for predicting density in women (R = .80; Sey = .0094) than the best combination of skinfolds (R = .77; Sey = .0100). For the men, the equation based on circumferences was as accurate for predicting density as the equation based only on skinfolds (R = .86; Sey .0072). The best combination of circumferences to predict density in the men includes the arm, abdomen and forearm; for the women, the same three measurements are used including the thigh girth. Since the circumference regression equations were as accurate in terms of predicting body density as skinfolds, and almost as good compared to other combinations of measurements, the equations based on simple circumferences could be used instead of skinfolds to accurately predict the criterion body density.
Katch, Frank I. and McArdle, William D.
"Prediction of Body Density from Simple AnthropometricMeasurements in College-Age Men and Women,"
3, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol45/iss3/12