Moon, JR, Stout, JR, Walter, AA, Smith, AE, Stock, MS, Herda, TJ, Sherk, VD, Young, KC, Lockwood, CM, Kendall, KL, Fukuda, DH, Graef, JL, Cramer, JT, Beck, TW, and Esposito, EN. Mechanical scale and load cell underwater weighing: a comparison of simultaneous measurements and the reliability of methods. J Strength Cond Res 25(3): 652-661, 2011-Both load cell and mechanical scale-based hydrostatic weighing (HW) systems are used for the measurement of underwater weight. However, there has been no direct comparison of the 2 methods. The purpose of the current investigation was to simultaneously compare a load cell and mechanical scale for use in HW. Twenty-seven men and women (mean ± SD, age: 22 ± 2 years) participated in the 2-day investigation. Each subject completed 2 HW assessments 24 hours apart. Single-day comparisons of all trials for both days revealed no significant difference between the mechanical scale and the load cell (mean difference < 0.016 kg, p > 0.05). True underwater weight values were not significantly different between methods for either days (mean difference < 0.014 kg, p > 0.05) and accounted for a mean difference in percent fat (%FAT) of <0.108%. The 95% limits of agreement indicated a maximum difference between methods of 0.53% FAT. Both methods produced similar reliability SEM values (mechanical SEM < 0.72%FAT, load cell SEM < 0.75%FAT). In conclusion, there was no difference between mechanical scale and load cell measurements of underwater weights and the added precision of the load cell only marginally (<0.16%FAT) improved day-to-day reliability. Either a mechanical scale or load cell can be used for HW with similar accuracy and reliability in young adults with a body mass index of 18.7-34.4 (5-25%FAT).
1Human Performance and Body Composition Laboratories, Department of Sports Fitness and Health, United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama; 2Metabolic and Body Composition Laboratories, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; 3Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; 4Bone Density Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; and 5Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Laboratory, Department of Sports Medicine, United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama
Address correspondence to Dr. Jordan R. Moon, email@example.com.