• No products in the cart.

Body fat scales as the name suggests are devices that you can use to measure your weight and the percentage of body fat, muscles, and water. These devices can help you estimate your body fat based on your weight and that can help you take the necessary measures to bring it to a normal level.

For men, ideal body fat falls between 6% and 24% while for women it is somewhere between 14% and 38%. If your body fat is very low, your organs will not be cushioned properly and it can also lead to unstable hormone levels.

women measuring her waist

On the other hand, too high a body fat percentage can also cause serious illnesses like strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancers. This makes it very crucial that you measure your body fat regularly and take steps to maintain it.

In this article, we will look at

  • What are Body Fat Scales?
  • Working of the Body Fat Scales
  • How Accurate Body Fat Scales Are?
  • Factors Affecting the Results of Body Fat Scales
  • Pros of Body Fat Scales
  • Cons of Body Fat Scales

What are Body Fat Scales?

It is a personal scale used to roughly estimate your weight and body composition at home. These scales give you the right value of your body fat by looking at the muscles, fats, bone density, and water inside your body.

These scales use the BIA or bioelectrical impedance analysis to estimate your body composition. Which involves sending an electric impulse through your body and measuring the amount of resistance that it faces from different areas of your body.

This resistance value combined with your age, gender, height, etc., gives an estimation of the fat in your body. 

Working of the Body Fat Scales

The working of these scales is quite simple. When you stand on the scale, it gives you a measure of your body weight and fat percentage instantly. These scales use sensors in their base which detect your presence and then send a small, painless electrical impulse through your body.

These sensors then measure the amount of resistance that the impulse has to face as it moves through your leg, across the pelvis, and the rest of your body.

The electrical signals experience more resistance when passing through fat than they do when moving through water and lean tissues like muscles.

best body fat scale

This resistance is measured and then a mathematical formula is applied by the scale that includes your personal details like height, age, and gender.

Most smart weighing scales can be linked with your smartphones which gives you a more convenient way to interpret the results and keep track of your progress.   

How Accurate Body Fat Scales Are?

Body fat scales are a pretty good estimation of your BFP but at the same time, they are also known for their inconsistent results. It is when you use these with some other health metrics that these scales can give you more accurate results.

A 2016 study conducted by Consumer Reports involved the assessment of the accuracy of six different body fat scales. They compared the results with values measured by a more accurate lab-based machine called Bod Pod.

foot on the body fat scale

The results revealed that the body fat scales consistently either underestimated or overestimated the body fat values. The least accurate readings were off by 34% while the most accurate readings were off by up to 21%.

This goes to show that these scales are not always an accurate estimation of your body fat percentage.

Factors Affecting the Results of Body Fat Scales

The results of body fat scales may vary based on several things like your age, gender, stature, and height. Other factors like dehydration, overhydration, pregnancy, frequent exercise, and the place where you store fat in your body can also play a key part in this.

Most body fat scales send the signal up your one leg, across the pelvis, and down the other leg. This foot-to-foot approach poses two issues.

First, if you have lean but longer legs as compared to your height, the signal will have to travel more to reach the base of the other foot. This gives a greater reading of the body fat which is not the case.

Secondly, if the fat in your upper and lower body is not evenly distributed, it can also lead to inaccurate body fat percentage calculations.

woman with a body fat scale

To deal with this issue, a hand-to-foot model has been proposed where you have to stand on the scale while grabbing electrodes in your hand. This allows the signal to travel farther in your body and that gives a more accurate reading.

This model too has some limitations. Like for example, it cannot tell you anything about where in your body the fat is present in greater amounts which is sometimes a crucial piece of information regarding your health. 

Pros of Body Fat Scales

  • You can measure both your weight and BFP at home.
  • The scales are safe and very easy to use and interpret.
  • You can link these with your phone to keep track of your BFP.
  • They can help you track the effectiveness of your workouts.

Cons of Body Fat Scales

  • The readings are not always accurate.
  • They don’t tell exactly where in your body the fat is stored.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do scales measure body fat?

These scales measure body fat by sending electrical signals through your body. When you stand on the scale the sensors under your feet activate and send an impulse through your one leg, across the pelvis, and down the other leg. These scales measure body fat by estimating the time it takes the current to travel through your body.

  • How accurate are body fat scales?

Body fat scales can only give you a rough estimate of the body fat you have. These scales do not account for your height or even the distribution of body fat in your upper and lower body which leads to inaccurate results.

  • How to measure body fat percentage?

You can measure your body fat percentage using a body fat scale, skinfold clippers, body circumference measurements, and hydrostatic weighing.

  • How do body fat scales work?

These scales use electrodes in their base that send electrical signals through your body. These signals face resistance from the body fat, water, and muscles. The readings of these scales account for your height, age, and gender. By measuring the resistance, these scales give you an estimate of the amount of body fat.

  • Do body fat scales actually work?

Body fat scales can give you the correct value of your body fat to some extent. The measured values are typically 21% to 34% off for the most and least accurate readings respectively.

Conclusion

Body fat scales can give you a very reliable estimate of your body fat percentage. However, you should not rely solely on the results given by these scales and instead use these in combination with other more accurate tools. This can help you find your body fat more accurately and encourage you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

female holding a body scale

With body fat scales, you can get a rough idea of the amount of fat you currently have and sometimes that is enough to help you seek professional help and choose a healthier diet and exercise.

Visit Eagle Scales today to get your hand on the most accurate healthcare and personal scales to use at home.

Image Enquiry