By Airman 1st Class Joshua T. Crossman | 460th Space Wing
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — It’s a small, yet ordinary office space tucked around the corner of a lobby. It’s exactly how you would think a medical building would look, but in this office, there is a piece of equipment that looks similar to a space escape pod from a sci-fi movie. Despite its looks, its purpose has nothing to do with space.
The Body Composition Machine, or commonly referred to as the “Bod Pod”, is an instrument that helps determine total body fat percentage, lean muscle mass as well as resting metabolic rate and total energy expenditure of an individual.
“It’s state of the art,” said Alan Muriera, 460th Medical Group health promotion manager. “The Bod Pod results are around 99.5% accurate. It is tested and calibrated everyday. We check the seals, we check the airway valves, and we check the volume.”
Muriera works in the Human Performance Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., where he administers the Bod Pod examinations.
The Bod Pod is a computerized, egg-shaped chamber which uses the same whole-body measurement principle as underwater weighing, except it utilizes air to measure your total body fat. As air is pumped into the chamber, body mass is calculated by the amount of air your body displaces.
To use the Bod Pod, there are some criteria you have to follow.
“You can’t eat or exercise two hours prior to your analysis,” said Muriera. “The reason being, if you eat, your body is utilizing fat for energy to process the food, and if you exercise, your body utilizes fat to repair your torn muscles.”
You are required to wear spandex as underwear and a swim cap, because hair and wearing cotton or other types of fabric will trap air, giving an inaccurate examination.
“When people come here, they are either looking to lose weight, or to see muscle gain,” said Muriera.
The Bod Pod is an opportunity for you to acquire baseline data prior to initiating a new workout or diet regimen. The analysis takes only five minutes to accomplish and is non-invasive.
Muriera explains, “I also like to call it the “Truth Booth”, because I’ve had people come in thinking they have 15% total body fat, and they are actually 26%.”
This machine is accurate and produces results with a technologically advanced system that will show minute details.
“It was definitely a humbling experience,” said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Devall, 460th Space Wing command chief. “I don’t think I’m in bad shape, but I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be after seeing the results.”
Chief Devall and Col. Devin Pepper, 460th Space Wing commander, visited the Bod Pod March 5, 2020, to have their total body fat percentage examined, and to inquire how the Bod Pod works.
“It is a reality check,” said Muriera. “but it’s a good way to start an exercise regimen or to start a new diet.”
If looking for a clear start to improving your health, the Bod Pod is a place to start. To schedule an appointment, visit the Human Performance Center, or contact HAWC at 720-847-6864.