Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science


Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Melinda Valliant

Second Advisor

Anne Bomba

Third Advisor

Martha Bass

Relational Format



Body composition, or the proportion of fat, muscle, and bone of an individual's body, is an important indication of health status. Numerous techniques can be used to assess body composition, producing varied results and measurements. For individuals with insufficient or excessive amounts of body fat, accurate assessment of body composition is crucial. Two commonly used techniques for measuring body composition are air displacement plethysmography (adp) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (dxa). Past research has been conducted, comparing adp and dxa, but the results are inconsistent. The majority of past studies found that, when compared to dxa, adp underestimated body fat percentage, but a few studies found that adp overestimated body fat percentage. Additionally, majority of the past studies have focused on ideal weight, overweight, and obese adults, with little research on body composition of athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether body fat percentages obtained by adp and dxa statistically differ from one another, specifically in a lean population. Ninety-three collegiate student athletes participating in Division I NCAA sports participated in the study. Subjects underwent a bod pod and dxa scan, measuring their body composition. Body fat measures were then analyzed using spss. Paired-sample t-tests were conducted, comparing body fat percentage estimates from adp and dxa. Box plots and bland-altman plots were also created to display data. Results shothat body fat percentages obtained by adp were significantly lower than body fat percentages obtained by dxa, with the difference being greater in leaner individuals. These results are consistent with the majority of past research, which states that adp underestimates body fat percentage when compared to dxa. Clinicians should consider this discrepancy between adp and dxa for deciding which equipment to use when making clinical decions regarding student athletes' health or participation status.


Emphasis: Computer Science



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