What is Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

DEXA is an x-ray machine which was originally used to assess bone health... bone is one of the components of your body weight. Doctors have been using DEXA as a valuable and accurate tool to assess bone health and diagnose bone diseases like osteoporosis for many years.

In recent years, DEXA has evolved to also measure the other components of your body weight (lean soft tissue and fat) and is now widely considered the most accurate way of assessing full body composition.

Our team has spent the past 15 year pioneering DEXA for full body composition… Gary has co-authored some of the definitive scientific journal articles validating DEXA for use in body composition. When he worked at the Australian Institute of Sport, Gary studied and supervised PhD and Masters students who were focusing their research on the use of DEXA and how it should be used for the most accuracy.

And he’s putting everything he learnt into practice at Physique Science! It has taken a while, but we've brought it out of the research lab and made it available and afforable for you. 

So what do Gary’s hard yards in the lab mean for you? A DEXA with us at Physique Science can identify changes in body fat and muscle mass of as little as 200-300g. This is much more accurate than underwater weighing, Bodpod, bioelectrical impedance and skinfold (calipers) measurements where errors in excess of 1-2kg can be common.

View Gary's journal articles 

Your DEXA report looks a bit like this 

DEXA and radiation: 

Involves the use of x-rays but it is a very low radiation dose. The average dose for a DEXA scan for body composition is 1-4 μSv. In context:

  • This is around the same as our daily exposure to naturally occurring background radiation in Australia (6-8 μSv), and 
  • The radiation dose for a simple, common Chest x-ray is 40-50 μSv or a four-hour flight on a commercial airline can be around 50μSv. 

However, women should always inform staff if there is any possibility they may be pregnant.

Radiation Risks of DEXA Total Body Scans 



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