Stan Adamek of Powers, Devon Parks of Springfield and Eric Hefferon of Dundee completed a study of consumer grade bioelectrical impedance (BIA) devices that measure body composition. They compared results from three consumer grade BIA devices to established laboratory methods, including skin fold and hydrostatic weighing, to determine the accuracy and precision of the devices.
The project culminated with a poster, presented by Adamek at the undergraduate student research competition at the Northwest American College of Sports Medicine annual conference in February. The poster won first place, which included a $50 award.
The majority of research on BIA has been done on laboratory grade models, said Adamek, adding that curiosity prompted the students to take on the project.
"These BIA devices are becoming more popular and we thought it would be interesting to investigate the accuracy of these methods," he said. "Obesity is a major issue in todays society and we felt it was important to investigate the quality of the consumer grade devices."
The project gave the students valuable experience as undergraduates in the exercise science program.
"This has opened our eyes to the field of research and has prepared us for future research opportunities," Adamek said.
Janet Peterson, assistant professor of health, human performance and athletics, assisted with the project and was pleased to see the students’ hard work as they put theory into practice.
"Linfield encourages experiential learning to complement the classroom-based instruction," Peterson added. "The work that Stan, Devon and Eric completed demonstrates the value of this type of learning. Perhaps the most exciting part of this project is the positive reaction from other students in our department."