Body Composition Assessment of University Athletes: Comparison Between the Data Obtained by Bioelectrical Impedance and by Anthropometry

Introduction: To compare the values obtained of the most used practical methods in clinical practice, by bioelectrical impedance and by anthropometry of the body composition of university athletes. Methods: Observational analytical study whose sample included 26 athletes of a Portuguese university football team. The assessment of individuals’ body composition was executed through bioelectrical impedance and anthropometry by an ISAK level one anthropometrist accredited completing the inherent protocol. For the data analysis was considered a critical significance level of 5% for a confidence level of 95% to test the hypotheses between the variables under study and their correlations, Pearson's parametric test of linear correlation coefficient was applied. Results: The variability of body composition assessed in the sample is highlighted. Significant correlations were found for fat mass and skinfolds sum (r=0,782; p=<0,001) as well as for individual skinfolds. Respectively through the elaboration of the scatter diagram, the following linear r2= 0.612 was obtained, representing the correlation between the variables. Similar correlations were found in the context of fat free mass and circumferences. However, in the case of the waist-to-hip ratio assessed by electrical bioimpedance and the waist-to-hip ratio assessed by anthropometry, there were lower correlations compared to the other parameters evaluated (r=0,441; p=0,036). Conclusion: It is intended to make it easier for interested sports professionals to select practical methods for assessing the body composition of their athletes, while eliminating the risk of selecting inappropriate methods. It is noted the possibility of replacing or complementing the bioelectrical impedance analysis with an accessible and viable anthropometric method such as the skinfolds sum, especially in teams with lower budgets like the university teams.

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