A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 3: Weight Management 58 Techniques for Assessing Body Composition Circumference Measurements (aka Girth Measurements). Circumference measurements are measurements taken at specific anatomical sites that can be used to assess body size. Although circumference measurements by themselves, tell us very little about actual body composition, this can be an effective means of assessing progress toward meeting body composition goals. For example, increases in upper arm girth can be testament of muscle hypertrophy as a result of regular ST. Similarly, a decrease in waist girth can be testament of fat loss as a result of regular exercise and healthy dietary practices. Figure 3.10 depicts some of the positive changes that can occur in body composition as a result of regular exercise. For this reason, regular circumference measurement should be performed in addition to weekly weigh-ins. Weigh-ins alone cannot determine if fluctuations in weight following exercise and/or dieting are a result of fat loss, muscle gain or both. Estimated percent body fat percentages based on waist circumference are provided in Appendix B (Latour et al., 2019). Figure 3.10. Changes in Body Composition as a Result of Regular Exercise Waist circumference (WC). Waist circumference is a measurement taken around the abdomen at the level of the umbilicus and used to assess health risk. As mentioned previously, there is a strong correlation between excessive abdominal fat and a number of metabolic disorders and diseases. In fact, research has shown an increase in health risk with every one-inch increase in waist circumference (Peterson & Rittenhouse, 2019). The relative risk categories for WC are provided in Table 3.8.