Measuring Body Fat Percentage

Body composition measurements are a useful tool to evaluate health and fitness. There are many methods to calculate these values but very few are reliable. Electronic scales, calipers (“pinchers”), and handheld body fat estimators are low-cost but do not provide accurate results.


The “gold standard” for measuring body composition is the DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan. It is similar to an MRI but has a much lower level of radiation. You lie on a table while the machine scans your body, which takes about 10 minutes. During this time your body fat percentage, body fat distribution, and bone density are measured.


The results can be complicated to interpret so it is important to have someone professionally trained to read DEXA reports explain the measurements. At the Fitness Institute of Texas (located at the University of Texas at Austin) the appointment includes both the DEXA scan as well as a consultation where results and strategies for improvement will be discussed. The pricing structure is as follows:

  • First Assessment $95
  • UT Affiliates $80
  • Group Discount? E-mail FIT at with a list of 10+ clients from your company or workplace to receive an additional $10 off the Longhorn rate.


Public safety personnel (firefighters/medics/police) qualify for the UT affiliate rate. For more information visit the Fitness Institute of Texas website