Last week, I learned my body has 18.5% fat.
I also learned that my right arm is a half pound heavier than than my left arm. It also turns out that my right leg is .7 pounds heavier than my left leg.
My bones are ~6.5 pounds, and the rest of me is lean muscle and fat.
I got all of this information after about 10 minutes of lying on a bed and getting scanned by a GE machine at the PGA’s Barclays golf tournament. GE goes to two events a year with its machine, which is called the Lunar iDXA.
For me, as a journalist, there’s not much I can do with that information other than say, “Huh, interesting.”
But for the pro golfers on hand, and for other athletes, GE believes this information can be very valuable.
Todd Weston, a rep for GE Healthcare, told me that a golfer can look at the lean muscle in their right arm and decide they need to add more muscle because that’s where their strength for hitting shots comes from. Or, for a college athlete, they can get a body scan, and then determine how much weight they can gain or lose.
The machine is simple looking. You just lay on a blue bedding with no shoes, and no metal, like you’re going through an airport scanner. Then an arm scans over you, much like a photocopier scans a piece of paper. Depending on your height, it takes between six and 10 minutes for scan.
Weston says the machine has been around for almost 20 years. It was used for menopausal women who wanted to test their bone density for osteoporosis. More recently, they’ve started using it for athletes to measure their bodies.
It’s most popular in colleges, where there are donors willing to buy new toys, and there are multiple sports programs who can benefit from this type of machine.
For a college athlete, particularly in football, the machine can be very helpful. For instance, if a 220 pound defensive lineman enrolls, the coaching staff may want to see the kid at 260 pounds. With the iDXA, it can scan his body and figure if it’s possible to add the 40 pounds, and if so, the best way to do it. Similarly, if they add the 40 pounds for football, then leave school without turning pro, they need to lose that weight. The machine can help guide the weight-loss program.
Most golfers skip getting a reading on their body’s composition, says Weston. About 35 players have used it. However, he says what tends to happen is their trainer drags the player to the machine, because the trainer wants as much information as possible.
It sounds like it’s still early days for the GE machine. And I don’t know much about its competition, but it’s a pretty neat machine. Here’s a look my full stats: