Skinfold Calipers: Choose The Industry Standard Harpenden

The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper is the market leader among mechanical skinfold calipers. It is calibrated in line with national standards, is CE compliant, of high quality, and durable. For over 40 years the Harpenden Skinfold Calliper has been in use across the world which is why it is recognised as the industry standard. At HaB direct we have a range of skinfold callipers to choose from to suit every budget.

What Is A Skinfold Caliper?

It is a hand-held precision instrument for the measurement of skinfold thickness. Basically, it measures how thick your subcutaneous fat is. Subcutaneous fat is found underneath the skin and the caliper is used to measure this, generally on your thighs, abs and chest.

Skin & Fat Anatomical Models - Obesity
Obesity Anatomical Model showing subcutaneous fat

You use the caliper to pinch the skin, pulling the muscle away from the fat. The fold of skin you have is then measured using the skinfold caliper. From these measurements, an estimate of body fat is derived. Therefore, the more precise the caliper, the more accurate the measurement for use in body composition.

Harpenden Skinfold Caliper
Harpenden Skinfold Caliper – the industry standard

In fact, skinfold measurement is one of the most common, portable and more affordable anthropometric methods for measuring body composition. Another assessment is abdominal circumference, using an Anthropometric Measuring Tape. Also, a subject’s stature is assessed and can be measured using other Harpenden Anthropometers. Finally, weight is an important anthropometric measurement and is the most frequently used measure of obesity.

Skinfold Caliper Measurements

Measuring skinfold thickness will not directly provide an overall measurement of body fat or percentage of body fat. Rather, it relies on equations that have long been validated, between measurements of body dimensions and body density. As a result, body fat can be determined by estimating body density.

The equations use either only skinfold thickness, or skinfold thickness plus other body measurements, such as abdominal circumference or stature discussed above.

The two most common sets of equations are:

  1. Durnin & Womersley – uses skinfold measurement only.
  2. Jackson & Pollack – uses skinfold measurement and other body measurements.

Skinfold measurements are always tested in the same place, on the same side of the body. Furthermore, the average of two measurements is usually taken.

Harpenden Caliper

Skinfold Caliper measurements have a wide range of applications, and the Harpenden caliper is being used for body composition measurements in:

  • Obesity
  • Eating disorder assessments – particularly in sport
  • Juvenile growth disorders
  • Nutrition and malnutrition
  • Diagnostic research

The HaB Direct Harpenden Skinfold Calipers are presented in a wooden storage box for protection and safe portability. It also includes a handbook that contains conversion tables for body fat % versus Skinfold thickness in males & females based on the Durnin & Womersley equation.

Are Skinfold Calipers Accurate?

The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper offers 99% accuracy and is calibrated using masters traceable to national standards. At HaB Direct, we offer a 10mm Calibration Block to help you determine when your caliper requires calibrating. It will need recalibration by the manufacturer as over time the accuracy of the metal springs can change.

View all Skinfold Calipers at HaB Direct, or view all Harpenden products.

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