With the start of football season, my laboratory begins scanning the college and professional football teams. As we start to scan these athletes I am reminded of the multitude of shapes and sizes that these athletes come in. From rather normalized quarterbacks, placekickers, and punters to some of the biggest athletes in both offensive and defensive linemen. For a majority of these athletes, most DXA scanner tables are wide enough to accommodate them. However, for offensive and defensive linemen as well as some linebackers and tight ends the width of their shoulders combined with the size of their arms presents a challenge. For some of these individuals, it may not be possible to fit their entire upper body into the scanning area. Another issue that may arise with scanning these individuals is that by squeezing their body to fit in the scanner area it will be difficult to separate the arms from the upper body when you analyze the scan. 

If this is an issue you are experiencing I suggest viewing our blog “Too Wide For The DXA Table?” 

That blog not only discusses how to scan athletes that are too wide for the DXA table but also provides a video that demonstrates how to scan these types of athletes.

Take Home Message
If you are regularly scanning football players or very large athletes or individuals, it is likely that you will come across an individual that is too wide for your DXA scanner. There are solutions to help you scan these individuals.

About the Author
Donald Dengel, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and is a co-founder of Dexalytics. He serves as the Director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, which provides clinical vascular, metabolic, exercise and body composition testing for researchers across the University of Minnesota.

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