Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

Skinfolds Assessment (Body Composition)

What is it:

Skinfold assessments are a more direct measure to assess body fat percentage. It involves the use of callipers to pinch the skin in numerous sites to assess the subcutaneous fat around the body. These values are used to estimate body fat percentage using generalised predictive equations, which are derived from hydrostatic weighing techniques.

Why it’s important:

Body fat is essential for good health overall; it provides insulation, regulates hormones and supplies the body with a source of energy. However, too much is associated with a number of severe health problems. Thus, a skinfold profile can indicate whether you’re within a healthy body fat percentage range, but also provide you with the distribution your fat tissue.


In comparison to other measures of body fat, skinfold assessments will give you not only an overall body fat percentage categorised to your age, but also measurements across multiple sites on the body. Additionally you will be able given a score based on the three somatotypes, allowing you to identify which body shape you currently fit into and be able track this over time with follow up tests, should you have a specific goal in mind.

All our assessors are professionally trained and have gained qualifications from the ISAK International Standards for Anthropometric Assessments (ISAK); as a result, they are able to carry out skinfold assessments accurately and with consistent results.

Test protocol:

A true skinfold assessment requires measurements to be collected from various parts of the body, including the subscapular, supraspinale, abdominals and iliac crest. For this reason, males are advised to wear shorts only, whilst females are recommended to wear shorts and either a bathing suit top or sports-bra.

As the first part of the test, the assessor will mark out the eight skinfold sites that will be measured on the right side of your body. Once completed, the tester will pinch the skinfolds at these sites using their thumb and index finger, and will then place the jaw points of the calliper on the skinfold halfway between the normal skin perimeter and the crest of the fold. The assessor will also collect some circumference measurements, namely from the arm, waist, gluteal and gastrocnemius; additional breadth measurements will be collected from the Humerus and Femur. Body weight and height will also be assessed.

The assessor will make 2-3 circuits of each site and each measurement will be recorded. Basic feedback will be given to you immediately after the test with feedback documentation provided to you in the days following, due to the data processing required.


1 hour


Β£60Β (inclusive of VAT)

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