Formerly a scale was only used to determine your body weight. But since the total body weight only doesn’t say much about your physical health, there are now more and more scales that also measure your body fat percentage, muscle mass, water content, and / or bone mass. Read below for what to look for when purchasing a set of bathroom scales.
1. Do you only want to know your weight?
If you’re just looking for a basic scale that weighs your weight then you have a choice of two different models. A digital scale that shows your weight on an LED or LCD display, and a traditional analog scale where you read your weight on the dial. These digital scales may have additional features such as a memory or a Body Mass Index measurements (BMI measurement). With a BMI measurement, you calculate how your weight compares to your height. This measurement is an estimate of the health risks that your body weight brings by itself. Unlike digital scales, analog scales offer no extra features in addition to weighing your weight. The advantage of an analog scale is, however, that they do not use batteries, and so they always work.
2. Do you want to perform a body analysis?
When you buy a scale that can analyze your body, you get a better and more complete picture of your body. The scale analyzes your body through a light, impalpable electric current that is sent to your other leg over your one leg. Depending on the resistance that the current has, your body fat percentage, muscle mass, water content and / or bone mass is determined. There are various combinations of these values possible giving you the option to choose the right scale for you.
Scientific research has shown that not your weight, but the fat percentage determines your health. Too high a percentage of fat, for example, increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
If you do intensive exercise, it is important to retain the moisture level at the right value. Sufficient moisture is, among other things, needed to process nutrients, waste materials to be discharged, and to regulate body temperature.
Measuring your muscle mass is very useful if want to lose weight. The higher your muscle mass, the more calories you, even at rest, need. Because you burn more calories, you reduce your body fat and, therefore, you lose weight faster.
Normally, bone mass is relatively stable but when you have osteoporosis (brittle bones), bone mass will slowly decrease with increased risk of bone fractures as a result. With a scale that measures your bone mass, you can easily see whether your bone mass remains stable through sports exercises and calcium rich diet.
3. Do you want to monitor your weight?
Scales with a memory are capable of storing your measurement values. This is convenient because then you can see by yourself if you’ve lost weight compared to previous measurements. But monitoring is even easier with a scale that sends readings to your PC, smartphone, or tablet. When you monitor your measured values with analysis, see you back all information in graphs or tables. This way you can see better if you are approaching your ideal weight or if you are at the desired fat percentage.
4. What else to look for?
If using a scale with body analysis, there are some points you need to consider in order to get reliable results. So take a look at the following points.
- A body composition scale can not be used when you have electronic implants such as pacemakers.
- Use the scale always at the same time of the day. The measured values are influenced by, among other things, your level of activity and calorie intake. When you measure your weight at different times, the results will not be comparable. Please note that at night you have more fluid loss which will make the results distorted for a body analysis. During the day, you replenished moisture reserves so you can make a more reliable analysis in the evening.
- People with fever, undergoing dialysis, or may be pregnant, should avoid using scales to prevent erroneous measurement. Leave your scales on the same place. This prevents fluctuations in the measured values.
- People of Asian or African descent should be careful when making use of body analysis scales. The scales on some websites use namely European or American standards to reflect healthy values. The results will, therefore, be correct, but their assessment is not because the physique of people with Asian or African descent is different from Europeans and Americans. The same is true for children. They also have a different body type than adults so that the measurement results are not always properly assessed. Among the specifications on the product page, the age is indicated from which you may use the scales.
- Many scales use personal profiles. Make sure you always use the correct profile. The ‘normal’ values are dependent on your gender, height, age, and activity level.
Do you have additional questions or would you like more advice about scales? Please leave a comment below with your question.