The BOD POD has benefited the recreational sports
department by allowing for educational opportunities,
research, and collaborations with other departments.
BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 6, 2012 - "It's simple,
very efficient, and very accurate," said Edward T. Selian
of Concord, Mass., a junior majoring in university studies. In just
three 40-second sessions, the egg-shaped BOD
POD in McComas Hall measures body composition and
resting metabolic rate.
"We are pleased to provide this service to all our students
rather than just student-athletes," said Alison Cross,
assistant director of fitness and assessment for the Department of
Recreational Sports. explaining that BOD PODS are
typically found only in athletic or academic departments.
The Virginia Tech Department of Athletics has
had a BOD POD for many years. After students repeatedly
asked for a test, the recreational sports department and
the athletic department partnered together to do a series
of studies comparing the BOD POD and skin fold testing.
After realizing how accurate the BOD POD was in comparison
with skin fold testing and body mass index (BMI)
measurements, the recreational sports department purchased
their BOD POD in December of 2011.
Cross said the BOD POD has greatly benefited the
recreational sports department and has allowed for numerous
educational opportunities for individuals who are
interested in testing to learn more about their own health.
"It allows us to stay a leader in campus recreation," Cross
The BOD POD measures body composition, which refers to the
how much of a person is made up of fat mass and how much is
made up of lean mass like muscles, tendons, and bones.
"Learning body composition tells you much more information
about your health," Cross said.
"The skin fold testing allows you to measure subcutaneous
fat only," Cross said. "This is not a full picture of
body fat and visceral fat can be extremely dangerous.
As many conditions and health problems are associated with
obesity, it is important to know your numbers accurately."
Cross also said that with BOD POD test results, users can
manipulate diet and exercise to better serve their
individual needs. "If an individual is aware of their body
fat and lean body mass, it is more likely they will seek
out programs and services that will aid them in creating a
healthy lifestyle," Cross said.
Students and faculty have been pleased with the ease and
results of their BOD POD tests. "This information will be
useful to me because I am not really interested in losing
weight, but in building lean mass," said Aubrey A. Baker of
Muskegon, Mich., a graduate student studying human factors
in industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering.
"We all know muscle weighs more than fat, so you can't
just look at a scale and know how you are progressing."
Many students said the BOD POD is a great way for them to
assess their fitness levels. "I think it's a great tool
for anybody who likes to see numbers that correlate with
their health and fitness progress," Baker said. "It also
targets areas you may need to work out, which could be
helpful to the trainers or people looking to try to help
Outside of Virginia Tech, the reaction to the BOD POD has
also been positive. Dr. Logan Brooke of the Tuck
Chiropractic Clinic in Blacksburg,Va., said he has
increased his cardiovascular exercise and decreased
processed foods as a result of his BOD POD test. "All
students, faculty, and staff should know this number,"
Brooke said. "Everyone should have this performed."
The BOD POD is offered to Virginia Tech faculty, students,
and members of the community. Recreational sports offer a
few different fitness assessment options, and Virginia Tech
patrons are given access at a reduced rate. The
recreational sports department will be giving free BOD POD
assessments Aug. 30, Aug. 31, and Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 11
a.m. in McComas Hall.
The Division of Student
Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments
dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience
and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of
a student's life outside the classroom is represented
through the division's departments.
Written by Logan Hooks of Spartanburg, S.C., a senior
majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and