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Better “Bods” Thanks To BOD POD

Today there is extreme emphasis placed on having and maintaining a healthy body. Whether one is a professional athlete or sits at a desk everyday, people from all walks of life desire to be physically fit–as they should. Excess body fat has been related to the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now declared obesity an epidemic, with 61% of adult Americans either overweight or obese. With unhealthy eating and health-related diseases on the rise, it is important to monitor one’s own physical health. Body composition is the best indicator of personal health, revealing the percentage of fat and lean muscle tissue an individual’s body has.

Calculating body composition has always been a difficult task, often times requiring the interested party to use inconvenient and slow underwater methods—until now.

i386engine_mThis is where The BOD POD (Body Composition System) enters the picture. Developed using TERN i386-Engine-M (IE-M) embedded microcontrollers, the BOD POD is an innovative measurement technology that calculates body composition quickly and easily. In conjunction with a PC and a fiberglass chamber for the user to sit in, TERN controllers have allowed for the extremely accurate and fast calculation of body fat composition, helping to improve health, personal performance, and quality of life.

This groundbreaking new product utilizes a simple desktop PC, a fiberglass chamber for the subject to sit in, and an interface between the two. This is where TERN IE-M controllers take over. The fiberglass chamber is actually divided into two different chambers, one large for the patient to sit in, and another smaller one to help measure differences in pressure between the two. A speaker in each chamber creates small differences in pressure using an extremely fast 200 KHz parallel Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), then the TERN IE-M’s 16-bit high speed parallel Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and digital I/Os to monitor all activity.

These measurements are analyzed and then reported to the PC via one of the three RS-232 serial ports. The TERN IE-M controller provides the vital link between the patient in the chamber and the PC, which displays the results. The whole process takes just five minutes, allowing for multiple samples to achieve the highest of accuracy.

Measuring 4.5″ x 2.7″, the i386-Engine-M is an excellent high performance controller for high speed data acquisition, which makes it an ideal choice for use in the BOD POD as well a wide variety of other applications. In additions, the IE-M is C/C++ programmable, provides 24 mulitplexed I/Os plus 8 TTL outputs and has a 32-bit CPU and 512-byte EE.
A number of research publications have reported on the accuracy and reliability of the BOD POD, while consumers have been won over by its futuristic technology and ease of use.

Traditionally, underwater-based products could only be used by specialized personnel, at specialized locations. Now, however, because of it’s simplicity, compactness, and mobility, the TERN controller-based product can be used by health clubs, physical therapists, collegiate and professional sports teams, virtually anywhere, by anyone.

In this case, TERN controllers have aided in a solution to a unique problem once facing athletes and health-conscious individuals alike. The BOD POD is the best way to see the “big picture” of what is truly going on, not just outside, but inside the body. With the more frequent monitoring of body fat composition using this product, people will be able to stay healthier for longer–and it is all made possible by TERN controllers. For more information on this new product, visit www.bodpod.com.