Body Composition Monitors FAQ

Body composition monitors FAQ or frequently asked questions give insight into body composition monitors reviewed elsewhere on this site. Also, use the body composition monitors FAQ along with body composition monitors buyers guide to find the best scale that meets your needs.

What are body composition monitors?

First and foremost, a body composition monitor is a scale that tells you how healthy you are. In fact, this scale sends an imperceptible current through your body to perform bioelectrical impedance analysis. Now, muscles, fat, bone and water conduct electricity at different rates. This is because they resist the flow of current differently. And these differences are measured by the body composition monitor or body fat monitor. Furthermore, the body composition monitor combines this information with formulas and data such as your gender and age to provide you with a wealth of information regarding fat, muscle, bone and water in your body.

How does the body composition monitor work?

The body composition monitor is a body fat scale that uses sensors underneath your feet to measure your bioelectrical impedance. When you step on the scale, a small electrical current runs up through your leg and across your pelvis, measuring the amount of resistance from body fat. Then, the sensors in the scale measure the level of resistance that the current meets as it travels back through your other leg.

Now, the greater the body resistance means a higher fat percentage and lower muscle mass. This is because fat contains less water than muscle, so it’s denser than muscle and more difficult for a current to travel through. Meanwhile, the lower the body resistance means you have lower fat percentage and more muscle mass.

An extremely weak 50 KHz electrical current less than 500 micro amperes is sent through your body to determine the amount of fat tissue. This weak electrical current is not felt. In order to determine your body composition, the electrical impedance is used, along with your height, weight, age and gender information to generate results.

Can the body composition monitor be used by everyone?

Because body composition monitors use Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology, they are not recommended for anyone who has a pacemaker or other internal medical device.

What kind of information do body composition monitors provide?

The body composition monitor provides the information described below.

Total Body Weight

Total body weight or body weight can range from 6 to 400 pounds with an accuracy of 0.2 pounds.

Body Fat

By the way, body fat can range from 5 to 75% with an accuracy of 0.1%.

Also, body fat, sometimes referred to as body fat percentage, is the percentage of fat to the total body weight.

Now, body fat is essential for maintaining body temperature, cushioning joints and protecting internal organs. Although you need healthy body fat, too much fat can damage your long-term health. In fact, reducing excess levels of body fat has been shown to directly reduce the risk of certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

On the other hand, too little body fat may lead to osteoporosis in later years, irregular periods in women and possible infertility.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat measurements can range from 1 to 30.

Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is stored in the abdominal cavity around several important internal organs including the stomach, liver and pancreas. Regrettably, visceral fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. However, a certain amount of visceral fat is essential as it plays a role in the support, stability, and protection of internal organs. Also, ensuring you have a healthy level of visceral fat directly reduces the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and may delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Water

Water or body water percentage can range from 45 to 60% for women, and 50 to 65% for men.

The number is the percentage of body water or fluids in total body weight and is usually around 60% to 70%. This number is strongly correlated with muscle mass. Because muscles contain a lot of water, this indicator can reflect the right way to lose weight. If the percentage of body water drops, not only does it harm your health, but it will also increase the body fat percentage.

Protein

The percentage of protein in total body weight is around 18% with an accuracy of 0.1%.

Proteins are the main building block of the body. They are an important component of all cells and tissues in the human body.  They are used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin. Furthermore, proteins account for about 18% of the total mass of the human body, and most importantly, it is essential for life.

Body Mass Index

Now, the Body Mass Index has an accuracy of 0.1. A normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25.

Indeed, Body Mass Index or BMI is a calculation of a person’s weight-to-height ratio. BMI can be used to estimate weight-related health risk. 

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle can range from 15 to 70% with an accuracy of 0.1%.

Lean body mass consists of your bones, ligaments, tendons, internal organs and muscles – the total body weight minus the fat weight.

Muscle Mass

Muscle mass is the weight of muscles in your body. As your muscle mass increases, the rate at which you burn energy (calories) increases which accelerates your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and helps you reduce excess body fat levels and lose weight in a healthy way.

Bone Mass

Now, bone mass has an accuracy of 0.22 pounds.

In fact, bone mass is the weight of bones in the body. Also, this measure is used to represent the health of bones. Meanwhile, the amount of bone varies with age. By the way, increasing the amount of bone requires not only calcium, but also collagen.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimum daily calorie expenditure rate. This is the rate at which you must expend calories in order to stay alive. In fact, these are calories your body needs when resting (including sleeping) to function effectively. This measurement can be helpful to weight-loss programs in predicting weight-loss rates. For example, increasing muscle mass will speed up your BMR. Indeed, a person with a high BMR burns more calories at rest than a person with a low BMR.

Metabolic Age

Your metabolic age is how your BMR compares to the average BMR for people of your chronological age in the general population. However, metabolic age tops out at 50. So, if your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it’s an indication that you need to improve your metabolic rate. Meanwhile, increased exercise will build healthy muscle tissue, which in turn will improve your metabolic age.

Body Age

Body Age has an accuracy of 1 to 3 years.

This is your ideal body age and is equal to 2/3 of your actual age according to the functional status reflected by your various body indicators.

What are the benefits of a body composition monitor?

Most of all, monitoring body composition helps you:

First, lose weight while still staying healthy.

Second, keep track of progress.

Third, ensures you are losing fat mass and not muscle mass or water weight.

Fourth, ensures your visceral fat is in a healthy range. In fact, too much visceral fat may lead to diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Also, monitor bone mass for those with osteoporosis, osteopenia.

In addition, get insight into your overall metabolism.

Furthermore, ensures you drink enough water or even too much water.

Next, ensures you have a healthy body composition. In fact, studies show that being fit is more important than how much you weigh when it comes to lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Lastly, ensures you have a healthy ratio of fat to muscle. In fact, skeletal muscle and bone density help you perform daily activities and prevent diseases like osteoporosis.

How is a body composition monitor helpful?

A body composition monitor helps you identify the following:

First, what your exercise needs are.

Second, your nutritional needs.

Third, your health risks.

Finally, determine your fitness goals.