How Do Analyser Scales Work?
Salter Body Analyser Scales use BIA (Bio Impedance Analysis) technology which passes a tiny electrical impulse through the body to determine fat from lean tissue, the electrical impulse cannot be felt and is perfectly safe. Contact with the body is made via stainless steel pads on the platform of the scale. This method simultaneously calculates your personal weight, body fat, total body water, BMI and muscle mass, giving you a more accurate reading of your overall health and fitness.
Salter Analyser Scales will also display weight, body fat and total body water for children and young adults aged 6-17 years. Muscle mass, BMI and BMR are not shown for this age range. This scale stores the personal data of up to 12 users. As well as being an analyser scale, Salter body analyser scales can be used as a conventional scale.
The human body is made up of, amongst other things, a percentage of fat. This is vital for a healthy, functioning body - it cushions joints and protects vital organs, helps regulate body temperature, stores vitamins and helps the body sustain itself when food is scarce. However, too much body fat or indeed too little body fat can be damaging to your health. It is difficult to gauge how much body fat we have in our bodies simply by looking at ourselves in the mirror. This is why it is important to measure and monitor your body fat percentage. Body fat percentage gives you a better measure of fitness than weight alone – the composition of your weight loss could mean you are losing muscle mass rather than fat - you could still have a high percentage of fat even when a scale indicates ‘normal weight'.
NORMAL HEALTHY RANGE OF BODY FAT PERCENTAGE
Body water is the single most important component of body weight. It represents over half of your total weight and almost two thirds of your lean body mass (predominantly muscle). Water performs a number of important roles in the body. All the cells in the body, whether in the skin, glands, muscles, brain or anywhere else, can only function properly if they have enough water. Water also plays a vital part in regulating the body’s temperature balance, particularly through perspiration. The combination of your weight and fat measurement could appear to be ‘normal’ but your body hydration level could be insufficient for healthy living.
For those using Athlete Mode: note that athletes may have a lower body fat range and a higher body water range than shown above, depending on their type of sport or activity. Body water measurement results are influenced by the proportion of body fat and muscle. If the proportion of body fat is high, or the proportion of muscle is low then the body water results will tend to be low. It is important to remember when using body water scales that measurements such as body weight, body fat and body water are tools for you to use as part of your healthy lifestyle. As short term fluctuations are normal, we suggest you chart your progress over time, rather than focus on a single days reading.
The Body Water % ranges published are for guidance only. Professional medical guidance should always be sought before embarking on diet and exercise programmes.
NORMAL HEALTHY RANGE OF BODYWATER PERCENTAGE
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), lean muscle mass may decrease by nearly 50 percent between the ages of 20 and 90. If you don’t do anything to replace that loss you’re losing muscle and increasing fat. It is also important to know your muscle mass % during weight reduction. At rest, the body burns approximately 110 additional calories for each kilo of muscle gained. Some advantages of gaining muscle mass include:
- Reversing the decline in strength, bone density and muscle mass that accompanies age
- Maintenance of flexible joints
- Guide weight reduction when combined with a healthy diet.
BODY MASS INDEX
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. Some of our body analyser scales calculate your BMI value for you. The BMI categories shown in the chart and table below are recognised by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and can be used to interpret your BMI value. Your BMI category can be identified using the table on the right.
BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR)
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is an estimation of the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body, at rest, to maintain normal body functions. This continual work makes up about 60-70% of the calories the body uses, and includes the beating of your heart, respiration, and the maintenance of body temperature. Your BMR is influenced by a number of factors, including age, weight, height, gender, dieting and exercise habits.
How exactly is my body fat and water measured?
Salter scales use a measurement method known as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). A minute current is sent through your body, via your feet and legs. This current flows easily through the lean muscular tissue, which has a high fluid content, but not easily through fat. Therefore, by measuring your body’s impedance (i.e. its resistance to the current), the quantity of muscle can be determined. From this, the quantity of fat and water can then be estimated.
What is the value of the current passing through me when the measurement is taken? Is it safe?
The current is less than 1mA, which is tiny and perfectly safe. You will not be able to feel it. Please note however, that body analyser scales should not be used by anyone with an internal electronic medical device, such as a pacemaker, as a precaution against disruption to that device.
If I measure my body fat and water at different times during the day, it can vary quite considerably. Which value is correct?
Your body fat percentage reading varies with body water content, and the latter changes throughout the course of the day. There is no right or wrong time of the day to take a reading, but aim to take measurements at a regular time when you consider your body to be normally hydrated. Avoid taking readings after having a bath or sauna, following intensive exercise, or within 1-2 hours of drinking in quantity or eating a meal.
My friend has a Body Fat Analyser made by another manufacturer. When I used it I found that I got a different body fat reading. Why is this?
Different Body Fat Analysers take measurements around different parts of the body and use different mathematic algorithms to calculate the percentage of body fat. The best advice is to not make comparisons from one device to another, but to use the same device each time to monitor any change.
How do I interpret my body fat and water percentage readings?
Please refer to the Body Fat and Water tables included with the product. They will guide you as to whether your body fat and water reading falls into a healthy category (relative to your age and sex).
What should I do if my body fat reading is very ‘high?
A sensible diet, fluid intake and exercise program can reduce your body fat percentage. Professional medical guidance should always be sought before embarking on such a program.
Why are the body fat percentage ranges for men and women so different?
Women naturally carry a higher percentage of fat than men, because the make-up of the body is different being geared towards pregnancy, breastfeeding etc.
What should I do if my water percentage reading is ‘low’?
Ensure that you are regularly taking sufficient water and work towards moving your fat percentage into the healthy range.
Why should I avoid using the Body Analyser Scale whilst pregnant?
During pregnancy a woman’s body composition changes considerably in order to support the developing child. Under these circumstances, body fat percentage readings could be inaccurate and misleading. Pregnant women should therefore only use the weight function.