Free Body Composition Testing at the University of Pennsylvania

body composition

Last year, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) began offering free body composition testing to all undergraduate students and campus recreation members. The program includes a free 10-minute assessment on the first Friday of every month, and early registration is suggested, as the allotment for each month’s testing is always maxed out.

Janna Rothschild, the Assistant Director of Wellness and Personal Training at the University of Pennsylvania, described what happens in the 10-minute body composition assessment.

“Each 10-minute appointment consists of a brief meeting with a certified personal trainer,” said Rothschild. “The trainers will measure the client’s body composition using a bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) scale. This scale provides the client with an approximate measure of their body fat percentage. Then the trainer will measure the client’s blood pressure and resting heart rate. The remainder of the short meeting is dedicated to answering any questions, along with an explanation of the results.”

Campus Recreation covers the cost of the two trainers available with the service, leaving it at no-cost to students, compared to the starting rate of $45 for a full fitness assessment and in-depth body composition analysis the facility also offers.

Rothschild said it is important to know your body composition when setting goals, and this testing can help set and reach goals. “When people learn their measurements, it provides them with the tools to set attainable goals for their fitness programs,” said Rothschild. “Whether or not they work with a trainer regularly, it’s really important to know your current status.”

They market the program through their website, social media accounts and their monthly newsletter — leaving it a popular service, reaching it’s maximum of 24 participants each month. The program has been successful, and the Campus Recreation Center currently has the program set to continue through December, with aspirations to continue it even longer.

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at

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