Int J Sports Med 2016; 37(14): 1117-1123
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-112589
Physiology & Biochemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Validation of Body Volume Acquisition by Using Elliptical Zone Method

C.-Y. Chiu
1   Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
D. L. Pease
2   Australian Institute of Sport, Movement Science, Canberra, Australia
S. Fawkner
3   School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
R. H. Sanders
4   Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 01 July 2016

Publication Date:
27 September 2016 (online)


The elliptical zone method (E-Zone) can be used to obtain reliable body volume data including total body volume and segmental volumes with inexpensive and portable equipment. The purpose of this research was to assess the accuracy of body volume data obtained from E-Zone by comparing them with those acquired from the 3D photonic scanning method (3DPS). 17 male participants with diverse somatotypes were recruited. Each participant was scanned twice on the same day by a 3D whole-body scanner and photographed twice for the E-Zone analysis. The body volume data acquired from 3DPS was regarded as the reference against which the accuracy of the E-Zone was assessed. The relative technical error of measurement (TEM) of total body volume estimations was around 3% for E-Zone. E-Zone can estimate the segmental volumes of upper torso, lower torso, thigh, shank, upper arm and lower arm accurately (relative TEM<10%) but the accuracy for small segments including the neck, hand and foot were poor. In summary, E-Zone provides a reliable, inexpensive, portable, and simple method to obtain reasonable estimates of total body volume and to indicate segmental volume distribution.

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