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Float Test - estimating body fat %

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Float Test - estimating body fat %

Postby SarahC » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:05 pm

This might be a good one to try for those of us who go to the pool...

The Float Test

This is a very, VERY rough way to estimate your bodyfat using water.

This test is done in fresh water or in a swimming pool as floating in salt water (seawater) will change the results. Salt water helps you float better, skewing the results.

- Take a deep breath and float flat on your back in deep water.
- If your whole body floats (i.e. your legs don't sink), you are probably over 25% bodyfat or more.
- Blow out all your air. If you still float at about the same level, you are probably 30% or more.
- If you can float with a breath but your legs start to sink slowly, you are probably around 15 to 20%.
- If your legs sink quickly and you float vertically underwater but near the surface with a deep breath, you are around 10 to 15%.
- If your legs sink quickly and you sink to the bottom with a deep breath, you are probably between 5 and 10% bodyfat.
- The faster you sink, the lower your percent bodyfat.

This works because the density of fat is less than water while the density of muscle is greater than water. More fat makes you float while more muscle makes you sink.
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Postby slimmindown » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:45 pm

I'll definetly have to try that one when I go to the pool next Sarah, something tells me I'm a floater(not a brown one thank god) :lol:
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:03 pm

LOL ive always been a really good floater *images of chokito!* and my mum sinks all the time and used to get frustrated about not being able to float- now i know why! thanks sarah!
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Postby Ally » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:42 pm

hehehehehehe thanks Sarah!!! Now I know why I can also annoy my hubby with being able to completely float in the water!! I always remember the cartoon movie where Garfield floats past Jon and Jon says "how do you do that Garfield" and he replies ..."easy fat floats!!"

On the health side of things though I am glad I am losing weight now!
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Postby KimE » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:43 pm

Ahh the dreaded chokito image...nice one Kate.

Thanks for that info Sarah...now just got to find me a pool. If I float like a cork I will be annoyed and demand my money back from Tanita! :D
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Postby SarahC » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:55 am

That's okay :D

I think all body fat measurements are dodgy... any method you use is only a guide. I have a BIA scale as well, and it usually says something like 26%, but I just can't float anymore, I tried :(
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Postby Simmy » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:00 am

haha sounds like a bit of fun - will have to remember those instructions though - or get my bf to read them out to me while I try and sink (wishful thinking, perhaps?) :)
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Postby KimE » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:03 pm

Yeah true Sarah. Mine fluctuates wildly depending on how hydrated I am. So I always weigh in in the morning for weight and do the body fat reading after work. I think the most accurate body fat or rather body composition test is the one where they stick you in a pool ermm hydrostatic testing I think it's called. Otherwise the skinfold calipers testing but I think you need to know what you're doing to get that one right too.
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