DEXA technology is the gold standard in body composition measurement. Through x-ray technology, it measures three major components;
Lean mass (muscle + organs + fluid) and
Body fat (the sum of all the body fat in the body)
Bone mass (i.e. the weight of your bones)
This information is then collated in a detailed report for each individual. With this report, customised training and nutritional plans can be more accurately created, enabling individuals to progress and track closer to their desired goals.
What is a DEXA Body Composition Scan?
A DEXA scan is considered the most scientifically accurate measuring tool to determine body fat and muscle mass distribution as it utalises X-ray technology. Dexa scanning technology also tracks visceral fat (bad fat), that surrounds an individuals organs, a good indicator for determining risk of chronic disease, as studies have shown body composition to be a major risk factor for all -cause mortality1.
1 Dong B, Peng Y, Wang Z, Adegbija O, Hu J, et al. (2018) Joint association between body fat and its distribution with all-cause mortality: A data linkage cohort study based on NHANES (1988-2011). PLOS ONE 13(2): e0193368. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193368
Anyone who is interested in tracking their body changes and are interested in finding out how much muscle, body fat (including visceral fat) and bone mass they have can get a DEXA scan without a referral. As it is the gold standard in body composition technology, it is an accurate measuring tool to be able to track changes which enables individuals to monitor how their training, nutrition and rehabilitation is going as it can help track muscular imbalances as well.
What can I do with the results of my DEXA Body Composition Scan?
A DEXA scan will give you a highly accurate baseline to help you achieve your goals. By knowing your body fat and lean tissue percentage, you can make lifestyle changes to improve your health and reduce your risk for chronic diseases as well as helping to achieve fat loss or muscle gain goals.
Why get a DEXA Body Composition Scan?
Keeps you accountable
Tracks progress of a diet and exercise program
Determine total fat mass and lean muscle mass
Give you a BMD score
Gives you the most accurate result available
Determine relative health risk
Establish a baseline prior to a new exercise/nutrition program
Monitor visceral fat (fat around the organs)
What makes DEXA better than other body composition measurement methods?
e.g. Inbody, Tanita, and Omron
These scales are usually seen in many gyms and fitness centres. They estimate body composition by measuring your body’s conductivity to electricity. Muscle has more water than fat and as such is more conductive. In strict research scenarios results can be adequate, test results in commercial settings are highly unreliable and almost always distorted by your individual hydration status, exercise, alcohol and food intake.
Claiming to be precise and easy to use, this novelty method for measuring body composition has only one study of less than 300 subjects backing it up. Without real evidence supporting its validity, you also have to wear minimal clothing to be tested. Mind you that if you are wearing loose clothing or have your hair down results can be distorted.
Skinfold Caliper Test, also known as Pinch Test, is a quick ﬁeld measure for estimating overall body fat from thickness measurements of subcutaneous fat (the fat just below the skin), but it does not give an indication of total body fat nor potentially dangerous visceral fat. This method is also highly susceptible to measurement errors and the subject has to wear minimal clothing.
Weighing yourself after exercising and eating healthy only to find out you have gained weight can be disheartening. Many factors can skew the number on the scales, as it weighs everything from fat, muscle, water, bones and all you’ve eaten the day before. When following a strength program an individual can gain lean mass while losing body fat, and DEXA Body Composition Scan will be the best way to track these changes.
How often should I get a scan?
After your initial DEXA scan, you can wait around 12 weeks until you have a follow up scan, however this may vary and will be discussed at the time of your scan. This will ensure that you give your body enough time to experience detectable physiological changes in muscle and fat mass which can be picked up by the DEXA scanner.
Are DEXA Body Composition Scans safe?
A DEXA Scan poses no signiﬁcant health risk to its users, and at Health Focus we utilise the top pf the range MedixDR scanners which emit the lowest amount of radiation available.
Our DEXA equipment emits < 0.1 uSv. This is less than 1/80th of the natural background radiation you would receive in a day (from sunlight exposure, soil, etc.), which is around 8 uSv.
Our doses are up to 85 times lower than other Fixed and Mobile DEXA Operators.
However, pregnant or potentially pregnant women should not have a DEXA scan. If you have had other Imaging Procedures in the past 14 days, please contact us before booking as you may have been given a contrast media which could affect your scan results.