Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Validity and Reliability of Assessing Body Composition Using a Mobile Application

MACDONALD, ELIZABETH Z.1; VEHRS, PAT R.1; FELLINGHAM, GILBERT W.2; EGGETT, DENNIS2; GEORGE, JAMES D.1; HAGER, RONALD1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 12 - p 2593–2599
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001378
Applied Sciences

Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of the LeanScreenTM (LS) mobile application that estimates percent body fat (%BF) using estimates of circumferences from photographs.

Methods The %BF of 148 weight-stable adults was estimated once using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Each of two administrators assessed the %BF of each subject twice using the LS app and manually measured circumferences. A mixed-model ANOVA and Bland–Altman analyses were used to compare the estimates of %BF obtained from each method. Interrater and intrarater reliabilities values were determined using multiple measurements taken by each of the two administrators.

Results The LS app and manually measured circumferences significantly underestimated (P < 0.05) the %BF determined using DXA by an average of −3.26 and −4.82 %BF, respectively. The LS app (6.99 %BF) and manually measured circumferences (6.76 %BF) had large limits of agreement. All interrater and intrarater reliability coefficients of estimates of %BF using the LS app and manually measured circumferences exceeded 0.99.

Conclusions The estimates of %BF from manually measured circumferences and the LS app were highly reliable. However, these field measures are not currently recommended for the assessment of body composition because of significant bias and large limits of agreements.

1Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT; and 2Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Address for correspondence: Pat R. Vehrs, Ph.D., Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602; E-mail: pat_vehrs@byu.edu.

Submitted for publication February 2017.

Accepted for publication July 2017.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine