Bod Pod provides synopsis beneath skin
By Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 12, 2015
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Since its inception more than six decades ago, the Air Force has continuously looked for innovative ways to keep Airmen fit.
Merging the traditional desire for a fit force with modern medical technology, the 30th Medical Group maintains a piece of equipment known as the Bod Pod - which gives users an accurate, under-the-skin health synopsis.
"The Bod Pod is a very accurate body fat test," said Dale Collins, 30th MDG promotion program manager. "Most body fat tests involve poking, prodding, or dunking and the error rate can be as high as 12 percent. This test only requires the individual to sit still for 45 seconds and it has a 98 percent accuracy rate."
Precision and speed join forces as the Bod Pod's popularity is built upon a foundation of highly accurate results, delivered to the patient in a matter of minutes.
"I didn't really know what to expect but everyone was really friendly," said Senior Airman Ashley Boeckholt, 30th Medical Operations Squadron public health technician. "I was more intimidated than I should have been. It was really simple and you get the results instantly. I think it's important for everyone to know how many calories they're burning so they're not over-eating, or under-eating. I was surprised by how many calories you can burn while at rest and compare that to how many you burn while you are active."
Though regular exercise and a nutritious diet are pivotal to fitness, the Bod Pod provides caloric information specific to the individual, so the patient can better understand how to achieve their desired results.
"Seventy percent of weight loss is nutrition," said Collins. "It's easy to over-eat the amount of calories that you burn during the day. If you don't know how many calories your body utilizes per day and how many calories you eat, then you are guessing at the numbers and hoping for success. We know the amount of muscle on your body determines your metabolism. When the Bod Pod calculates your body fat percentage it will also calculate your basic metabolic rate by determining your amount of muscle mass. This is half of the equation, now adjust the amount of calories in your daily intake based on your metabolism and goals - and you will start to see the changes you have been hoping to achieve."
Bod Pod patrons assert the information provided creates a valuable fitness road map that can be used to efficiently improve specific weaknesses.
"If Airmen are more informed of what's going on under their skin, as far as muscle, bone and fat -- they are more inclined to make better choices with nutrition and health," said Senior Airman Sergio Chavira, 425th Air Base Squadron, base defense operations center technician. "It's definitely a motivator. Something like this not only helps us identify our areas of weakness, but points us in the right direction. Information is power, and it gives us the information to truly change ourselves for the better."
For Bod Pod operators, the machine is much more than a glorified fitness calculator - it is a crucial component to mission success.
"People make the mission happen," said Collins. "The health of our Airmen, and their families, allows us to complete the mission on time, and on task. If you do not fuel your body with proper nutrition it will not perform correctly. Too many or too few calories will lead to poor health. We use the Bod Pod to teach Airmen the correct way to fuel their body to improve health and wellness and to reach their needs and goals."
Due to its unique benefits, Airmen are highly encouraged to make an appointment to use the Bod Pod.
"Not every base has one so I definitely would recommend Airmen utilize it, and all the other resources we have," said Boeckholt. "There are many programs to help promote healthy lifestyles and this is an important one. Innovative technology like this just really shows that the Air Force is looking to take care of its most valuable resource - its Airmen."
To make an appointment to use the Bod Pod, contact the front desk at 805-606-3077.