This test estimates the percentage of body fat by measuring skinfold thickness at specific locations on the body. The thickness of these folds is a measure of the fat under the skin, also called subcutaneous adipose tissue. Skinfold thickness results rely on formulas that convert these numbers into an estimate of a person's percentage of body fat according to a person's age and gender.
Skinfold measurements are generally taken at specific sites on the right side of the body. The tester pinches the skin at the location site and pulls the fold of skin away from the underlying muscle so only the skin and fat tissue is being held. Special skinfold calipers are then used to measure the skinfold thickness in millimeters. Two measurements are recorded and averaged.