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The BOD POD Touches Down on Campus
Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Written By:  Joseph Zubkoff
Contact:  Brian Kirschner
Contact Email:  215.895.1186
Contact Phone:  b.kirschner@usp.edu
USciences is no longer taking public appointments.
Seemingly off a science fiction movie set, the BOD POD has landed in University City. University of the Sciences’ exercise science and wellness management program* recently acquired the newest advancement in body composition assessment technology for training and educating students.
Shaped in the mold of a space capsule, the BOD POD is the most accurate way to test a person’s body composition (body fat and muscle mass). Used by leading universities, sports teams, fitness clubs, military organizations, and weight management centers, in roughly five minutes, the BOD POD determines body composition in adults and children.
“A typical body composition scale as well as bioelectrical impedance handheld devices are largely based on hydration levels and are affected by medical factors or menstruation and pregnancy. Other body composition tools can also be inaccurate due to human error such as with skinfold calipers,” said Karin Richards, director of the exercise science and wellness management program. “Results can be skewed if the floor is uneven and if the scale is moved. However, the BOD POD never moves, it calibrates after each person, and is about 98 percent accurate.”
BOD POD testing is a fairly simple process. In a series of three 40-second tests, the BOD POD uses Air Displacement Plethysmography to test for the subject’s body composition. Such accurate testing could previously only take place when testing body composition in water. When the tests are finished, the computer prints out a sheet with personalized data, including body composition results and recommended caloric intake depending on the subject’s physical activity level. The BOD POD also measures the resting metabolic rate (RMR) which is the amount of energy body uses at rest.
The arrival of the BOD POD brings great advantages for students in the program who now have the opportunity to advance their studies in full body composition and overall physical fitness.
“At the present time, there are only two other locations in the tri-state area that have a BOD POD, West Chester University and the Philadelphia Eagles, so it gives our students a strong advantage,” said Richards. “Whether they want to do strength and conditioning or clinical research, it gives them a niche to expand their horizons and see what is actually out there. Only the top facilities in the country have equipment like this, and now the University does too.”
While BOD POD self-testing testing will not be required for students in the program, all students will learn how to operate the equipment. The BOD POD offers the opportunity to compare results and determine accuracy as students continue to use less advanced equipment to test body composition.
In addition to advancing the studies of the exercise science and wellness management students, the BOD POD provides entrepreneurial opportunities for the University. Richards sees revenue possibilities.

“The BOD POD brings an excellent opportunity to educate the community. We can explore marketing it out for use by the local schools, local university athletic teams, as well as professional and amateur sports teams in the area.”
*New Name: The fitness and health management program has changed its name to the exercise science and wellness management program. Approved by the state in June, the name change better reflects the course offerings. Richards noted: “By changing the program name, our students have a niche in the exercise science realm, as rarely does a program offer a management component with this discipline.  Our students will be equipped with both a science and management background which will open up more possibilities for them in terms of career choices.”
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