body fat monitor accuracy

Do Body Fat Monitors Accurate?

Are Body Fat Monitors accurate? Body Fat Monitor accuracy depends on several factors. In this article, we will discuss about the factors which will alter body fat scale accuracy.

How do they measure body fat

Bioelectrical impedance is what most body fat monitors use. This means they send a low electrical current to lower part of the body, and this current doesn’t cause harm or anything like that. The current flows faster through muscle and water than it does through bone or fat. The speed of the current is measured by the scale. After the speed of the current is measured, the scale uses a mathematical formula to estimate body fat. However, if you are pregnant, have an electrical implant or a defibrillator, then you should not use these scales.

Factors Changing Body Fat Monitor Accuracy

Hydration: If you sweat a lot or you’re dehydrated, then you won’t have a lot of body water for the current to travel through. This results in a reading that might be higher than it is. On the other hand, if you have a full bladder due to drinking too much fluids, then your reading might be lower than what it is. The same goes if you’re a woman and you are retaining water because of your menstrual cycle. Learn what affects fluid retention. Also, weigh yourself on a weekly basis, and try to do this at the same time of the same day. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to wear the same clothes when you weigh yourself.

Movement: The electric sensors are extremely sensitive. They work the best when they weight objects that are stationary. In other words, you don’t want to move around a lot when you are on the scale or else the reading will be inaccurate. What you want to do is stand in the same area on the scale and make sure you stand completely still.

Foot Calluses: Do you have thick calluses on your foot? If so, the current might not flow accurately. If you have calluses on your feet, then consider shaving them down.

Muscle: Muscle weighs more than fat and this can affect readings. The truth is that these scales might not be for you if you do a lot of weight training. This is because the readings will likely not be accurate.

Body Fat Scale Accuracy

Also, the scales might not be suitable for those under 16-years-old. People who have diabetes or an elevated body temperature might not use them. This is because body fat scale accuracy will not be consistent for these type of people.

Published by

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Hi! My name is Aleksandar Grbovic. I’m a radiology resident with five years of experience in General Medicine. As a medical writer, I have only one goal in my mind - to bridge the gap between doctors and patients point of view by breaking down complex medical topics and presenting them in lay people language. Knowing that my writing might help someone out there connect the dots is what keeps me motivated.

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