This feature can come in different names, but measuring body fat is offered with all bioelectrical impedance scales. Most scales require you to input your personal data before using the scale to calculate the final result. It can take up to 10 seconds to get the reading with some scales. Advanced scales allow you to save data for multiple users.
How to Choose the
Body fat and overall health
Before we get to the types of scales needed for the best results we need to understand what body fat is and where it comes from. Body fat has many causes but is also divided into healthy and unhealthy categories. Popular belief would have you thinking all kinds of fats are bad. This is not the case as some fats are essential to the vital functions of our bodies. The percentage of needed and healthy levels of body fat is between 2% and 5% in men and 10% to 13% in women. Because of childbearing, women need more fat to sustain a healthy level of the body and organs. The percentage of body fat is measured in different ways. Traditional methods include the use of calipers while modern means include the use of bioelectrical impendence analysis.
In terms of the general fitness levels, body fat can be calculated without putting it against other readings such as age and height. This being said, the average levels of fat in humans are way above the lower acceptable limit. Some studies show that men have a body fat percentage which ranges from 23% to 31% while women range from 32% to 42%.
What causes fat?
Tracing the root of fat development is not as straightforward as many may think. Fat can be caused by one or by multiple issues which can include.
How modern scales measure body fat
Body fast scales measure fat using the bioelectrical impedance technology. This technology sends a safe electrical signal through the body to measure the resistance of body tissues. So how does this technology differentiate between fat, bones and muscles?
The way the electric signal travels through the body is read is by calculating the “easiness” in which it travel in tissues which are mostly made of water. The denser the tissue (ie. bones, fat) the more it takes for the signal to travel through the body. For an exact reading, this is calculated against the personal profile of the user which includes variables such as height, weight and age. Some of the drawbacks of the technology are highly impacted by some variables such as hydration levels of the user, time of day, temperature etc. This is why you need to do multiple measuring to get an accurate result.
Top features in a body fat scale
Some features are unique, patented with the manufacturer. Others are common and you can find them in most scale, even if sometimes they come under different names.
Top body fat scales
Top benefits of using a body fat scale
Body fat scales have been starting to replace traditional scales as people need more complex information to assess their overall health levels. They can also measure bone and muscles mass density, let`s have a look at some of the top benefits of using a body fat scale
Simplicity to use when compared to calipers
When it comes to traditional calipers you need to make sure you pinch yourself in the same area you did previously which will cause some discomfort. Then you need to place them all over your body which is hard to do all by yourself. Modern body fat scales are easy to use. You can do it yourself just by stepping on scale and waiting for the results in seconds. Once you have the results you can input them into an app to compare them against the normal levels for your activity level, age, height and sex. This will not only give you the overall results but it will help you track and adjust your fitness activities according to your goals.
Great for multiple users
Body fat scales can now support data saving for multiple users. You can even split the cost of the scale with friends at the gym or just get the scale to monitor body fat for all members in your family. Some of these scales have the ability to instantly recognize the person on the scale by comparing previous data and automatically synchronizing the data and updating your results via WiFi.
Cheap to run
Most body fat scales only require a few regular batteries to run. This is both cost-effective and environmentally effective if you decide to use rechargeable batteries.
Shows results accurately
Not many traditional scales or calipers can show data with an accuracy level within 0.1lbs. Body fat scales come with realistic data interpretation which not only makes them great for amateurs but for professional athletes also. Some body fat analyzers come with an additional rating system which will place your results against the regular fitness levels in your age group. So if you manage to get in a great physical condition your results will be shown against “athlete” readings.
There are really many other reasons to start using a body fat scale. The prices vary according to your budget and most come with other included features which would only benefit your health. The electrical impedance technology which was previously available just to professionals is not available for home users as well. Some scales come with PC connectivity and allow you to monitor your data at any time from any place while others only saved data internally and display it on the built-in screen. One of the best ways to determine which body fat scale to buy is to asses you needs in the present but in the future also, once you reach your short-term fitness goals.