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Bod Pod at LAAFB Makes Quick Work of Measuring Body Composition

Dietician Katherine "Katie" Keegan prepares for her body composition measurement.

LAAFB Fitness Center dietician Katherine "Katie" Keegan prepares for her body composition measurement in the Bod Pod located in the Fitness Center. Closing the Bod Pod is Katherine Villanueva, civilian health promotion coordinator. The readings are recorded on a nearby computer and include body fat percentage, lean body mass percentage, approximate caloric burn rate, and bone density. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

Katherine Villanueva staffs the computer outside the Bod Pod

Katherine Villanueva, civilian health promotion coordinator, staffs the computer used to capture a variety of Katherine "Katie" Keegan's body composition measurements from the Bod Pod at Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California. The Bod Pod readings include body fat percentage, lean body mass percentage, approximate caloric burn rate, and bone density. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --

Health and fitness often take a back seat as the holiday season approaches. Fortunately, they don’t have to for Los Angeles Air Force (LAAFB) personnel who now have access to the latest technology in measuring body composition readily available to them with the Bod Pod, a computerized, egg-shaped device that users sit in while their measurements are taken.

Interested personnel, including civilian employees and contractors, can make an appointment through the LAAFB Fitness Center’s Health Promotion Office to have measurements such as body fat percentage, lean body mass percentage, approximate caloric burn rate, and bone density taken by the Bod Pod at no cost. The pod not only looks futuristic, but its ability to capture data in less than five minutes is a testament to advanced technology that is available now.

It is highly recommended that those who want to have their body measurements taken using the Bod Pod wear tight-fitting clothing to ensure accurate results. Women are asked to wear either a one-piece swimsuit or spandex shorts and a non-padded sports bra. For men, it is recommended to wear shorts or a Speedo-type swimsuit. Everyone is provided a cloth swim cap to wear during the test.

“It’s essential that participants wear tight-fitting clothing to avoid any air being trapped between the skin and garment, which can alter the body composition readings significantly,” says Katherine “Katie” Keegan, who is a licensed dietician at the Fitness Center and assists with taking the measurements using the Bod Pod.

Additional recommendations for those coming in for Bod Pod testing is to avoid eating or exercising two hours prior to the test. Drinking water is fine.

“It’s an awesome resource for all LAAFB personnel,” says Keegan, who emphasizes the difference between using a scale to determine health measurements and the pod. “When you step on a scale, you might see a pound difference in one direction or another, but you don’t know the percentage of fat lost or the muscle mass gained equating to lean body mass. That’s why relying on only a scale when trying to improve your overall health can be misleading and discouraging,” she says.

Once the testing is complete, the results are printed out and Keegan spends about an hour reviewing them with the individual. “I encourage them to share their goals and then how they can meet them,” she says. “As a dietician, I try and get an understanding of their eating times or feeding window and explain how their eating schedules translate into how many hours their body is in a fasting state. If their feeding window is smaller than their fasting window, this can aid in losing not only pounds but body fat,” explains Keegan.  

In addition to the Bod Pod, the center offers all LAAFB personnel access to a massage chair. No appointment is necessary to use the massage chair, which features a variety of settings in a private locked room.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for the Bod Pod, contact the Health Promotion Office at 310-653-6736.