Health Fair at Bennett County Hospital

4-9-14

The Bennett County Hospital will be sponsoring its annual Health Fair on Thursday, April 17. Blood draws will begin at 7:15 a.m. Please come fasting. It is all right, and even recommended, to drink water regularly, including a glass before coming in to get drawn. The draws will take place in the lobby of the Bennett County Community Clinic.

In addition to tests offered the previous year, Physical Therapy will be offering a fall risk assessment. 

From previous years, tests available are: Vitamin D level, TSH thyroid testing, prostate cancer screen, a panel that includes liver, kidney glucose and lipid testing, gout and CK testing. There will be blood pressure, height, weight, BMI and body fat percent, measured either by bioelectrical impedance or skinfold calipers. 

Fall Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one of three adults age 65 or older fall every year. Among this same age group falls are the leading source of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Fortunately, falls are a health problem that is largely preventable.

As part of the Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home Health Fair the physical therapy department will be offering a free fall risk assessment. This assessment is designed to identify risk factors in your environment, health problems which may increase your risk of falls and to directly assess your balance. We will also provide you with information on how to decrease your individual fall risk.

Please stop by on April 17th, visit with our trained staff and allow us to help you live a fall free life.

Explanation of

Percent Body Fat

Ideal percent body fat is not the same for every person, because everybody’s body composition is a little different, but, given this premise, we can try to understand percent body fat better.

Essential body fat is the body fat that is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. This constitutes 3-5 percent in men and 8-12 percent in women. Storage body fat stores energy, insulates and protect the organs, and is found in adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is located both under the skin (subcutaneous fat) and around the deeper organs. It is the fat that is found around the deeper organs, such as the gut, that is most associated with the risk of health issues.

How much total fat should a person have? A simplified version is as follows, but these ranges vary with age and, somewhat, with individuals.

Athletes (top performance): Men 6 – 13 percent, Women 14 – 20 percent.

Fitness: (look and feel great), Men 14 – 17 percent, Women 21 – 24 percent.

Acceptable: Men 18 - 25 percent, Women 25 – 31 percent.

Obese: Men 26 percent plus, Woment 32 percent plus.

There are ways to accurately measure body fat percentage. The most precise involve underwater weighing (your underwater weight compared to the weight of water that your body mass displaces). Or, following the same principle, there is whole body air displacement measurement. More complicated and expensive procedures include dual X-ray absorptiometry.

There are also ways to estimate total fat percent. These are less accurate or precise, but they are convenient and inexpensive. And, if the same method is used over a period of time and in the same way, it can give a picture of your development. Two of these are: skinfold methods and bioelectrical impedance. 

Skinfold methods involve pinching the skin to measure subcutaneous fat. The best practice is to pinch the skin in three different areas and take the average, as people differ in fat distribution. Skinfold methods do not measure the deep fat that is around the organs, but, for most people, skinfold measurements correspond to an estimate of the total body fat.

With bioelectrical impedance, an electrical current travels through your body, finding different resistance through the different tissues. This method does measure both subcutaneous and deep fat. But your level of hydration makes a difference in the reading. Do not drink a lot of water or be dehydrated when you use this method or do it immediately after taking a bath or shower. 

Before breakfast, a while after having one glass of water is a good time to measure. There also may be a slight difference in the reading depending on whether you used your hands or feet as contact points because the fat percent may be more reflective of the upper or lower part of your body. This method cannot be used if you have a pacemaker or are pregnant.

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