Students at Waukee High School are learning critical new information about their bodies with information that goes beyond what they may see in the mirror. The Physical Education and Strength Department recently received a classroom grant from the Waukee Community Schools Foundation to help purchase the InBody 570. It’s a body composition analyzer that measures fat, muscle and total body water.
“It gives us another opportunity to get to another level of fitness with our kids, another level of education with their health,” said teacher Chad Vollmecke. Students stand barefoot on the machine and hold the hand electrodes. In less than a minute, the student will receive a printout detailing their individual body composition. Teacher Jay Dahl said the printout provides valuable information about a student’s overall health. “It shows their hydration level, how much water they need to have their body functioning at its best. It shows body fat. It even shows how much muscle mass is in one arm compared to the other,” Dahl said.
“There’s a big push now for both mental and physical health,” Vollmecke said. “This machine says, hey, this is your body makeup, here’s where you’re lacking, here’s where you can do better. They can see themselves not in world of Photoshop, or body shaming, this is our way to make it more scientific, take away the social anxiety around health, bodies, and their makeup. We’re trying to do our part to educate and give opportunities and improve their health and better their lives in the process.”
Both Vollmecke and Dahl said it’s their goal to help students learn about their bodies and make informed choices to impact their overall health. If a printout shows the need for additional support, students are pointed to a nutritionist or doctor to continue the conversation.