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Cory Carter, Synthes (usa)
04-08-2002, 04:30 AM
Any Exercise Physiologists in the audience? A friend sent me the following
message. A bit shocked that the fodder was coming from a men's locker room
discussion and not from the latest women's health magazine "Letters"
section, I had some initial thoughts on the validity of the contest but did
not want to give poor advice. (I would have expected the average group of
males to contest their bench-pressing prowess, rather than something like
their loss of relative body fat content.) The questionable reliability of
skin fold caliper measurements and the difficulty of underwater weighing
came to mind, but my familiarity with digital body fat scales does not
extend much further than the ads in the airlines' "Sky Mall" magazines. Can
anyone comment on these scales and on the contest in general? Certainly,
3000-bucks seems like a good motivator, and all participants will be the
better regardless of who in the office wins the money. My suggestion,
however, would be that he who has the most to "lose" at the onset of the
contest, stands the most to win. Is there a more appropriate way to go
about this, given that the sample of people most likely varies quite a bit?


-----Original Message-----

Question:

Since you have a background in exercise science I thought you could
give
your opinion on a situation we have at work.

A group of guys at work are in a body fat % contest. The person who
loses
the highest % of body fat over three months will win the pot of
money. On
day one, everyone weighed in on an electronic scale that measures
body fat %
digitally. It's a high quality scale that came from our fitness
center and
everyone was measured by a certified fitness expert. Three months
later,
everyone will weigh out. You get the picture.

The question is, how accurate is this method? Are some body types
more apt
to weigh in with less % than others, etc. We have about 30 guys
grumbling
about the effectiveness of using the electronic scale for good
reason
because the pot is at about 3K.

Just thought you would be a good source of input.

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