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DEXA Body Composition Scanning: Step-by-Step

Schedule Your DEXA Scan

Scheduling a DEXA scan at BodyMath is easy. The first step is to decide how many scans you want to do. As we have illustrated elsewhere, DEXA gives the most useful information for weight loss, athletics and bodybuilding and so, all things being equal, you get the most benefit by doing the most scans. Let's take a look at the DEXA plans for you to choose from.

What Happens During a DEXA Scan

DEXA scans take about 15 minutes. During the time, the patient (that's YOU) is lying comfortably,  fully clothed face-up on the scanner bed while a scanner arm moves slowly from head to toe covering the whole body. The moving overhead arm emits tiny pulses of X-Rays which pass through the patient's body and are then captured and decoded by imaging tubes under the scanning bed.  As soon as the scan is complete, the data is processed into useful numbers and stunning images. Patients receive a multi-page color printout of their scan results and what they mean. One of our DEXA technicians is also present to explain and answer questions.

Your First DEXA Scan: Step-by-step instructions and guide
Make an appointment

To begin the process of obtaining a body composition DXA scan, you'll first need to make an appointment with us. For the moment, this requires calling us. ​


Before your appointment, there are a few things you should do to ensure accurate results

Dietary and exercise restrictions

Avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise for at least two hours prior to the scan, as these can affect body composition measurements.​


Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes without any metal components, such as zippers or buttons. Remove any jewelry, belts, or other metal accessories, as they can interfere with the scan.​

Do the actual scan

Lying properly positioned in the scanner

Upon arrival, you'll be asked to lie down on a padded table with the scanning arm positioned above you. The technician will ensure that you are correctly aligned and that your body is straight and centered on the table.​

Ensuring comfort

The technician will make sure you are comfortable throughout the process. If you feel any discomfort, let the technician know immediately.​

The actual scan

The DXA scan typically takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. It's important to remain still during the scan to ensure accurate results.​

Reviewing scan results

After the scan, the technician or a healthcare professional will review the results with you, explaining the various measurements and their significance for your overall body composition. They may also provide insights on areas for improvement or areas where you are excelling.​

Plan next scan (if wanted)

If you wish to track your progress over time, you can schedule a follow-up scan in the future, typically three to six months after the initial scan.

Use scan information to judge the quality of your body-building, athletic, or weight-loss plan:

Based on the results of your DXA scan, you can assess the effectiveness of your current fitness or weight-loss regimen. If the results are favorable, continue with your current habits. If the results indicate that adjustments are needed, consider revising your nutrition, exercise, or lifestyle habits to better align with your goals. Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process, and regular DXA scans can help you monitor your progress and make data-driven decisions.

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