What does a smart bathroom scale know about you and your body?
Tired of your prehistoric and inaccurate balance? Are you considering buying a ‘smart’ bathroom scale, which connects to health applications and measures lots of physiological elements? But what does this kind of bathroom scale actually do, while you’re just standing on it?
Your health isn’t just about your weight. That’s why the new generation of bathroom scales do more than just determine your weight. Smart scales also measure things like body mass percentage, muscle mass percentage, hydration level, and more. And you can deduce quite a few things about your state of health. The scales work via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and the data is transmitted to an app, in order to follow the evolution.
The measurements carried out by a scale are carried out using an impedance meter. What is it precisely? A very slight electrical current is sent through your body via your feet which, based on the resistance it encounters, will measure a range of things. Is this painful? Absolutely not, you don’t even notice it. The measurements are not always one hundred percent accurate, but this is not necessary either: it helps above all to examine whether you are healthy and whether your body is undergoing significant changes.
are better conductors than fat, so the scale can tell the difference. A healthy fat percentage for an average man (not a top athlete) is around ten to twenty percent, for an average woman it will be between twenty and thirty percent. Fat percentage says more about your health than your weight. If you weigh a kilo less, it does not mean that you have lost a kilo of fat. For example, you may very well have lost fluid following an invigorating sauna session. The only way to know for sure if you’ve lost weight is to check if your body fat percentage has gone down.
To assess your body composition at a specific time, a smart bathroom scale will also measure the amount of water present in your body. You probably already know that your body is made up of half water – and for men, even more than half. How much water you drink, how much you eliminate by sweating, urinating: all this has an influence on your body’s hydration level. This, in itself, does not say much about your health, but can help to better interpret your weight variations.
Sports enthusiasts especially find this interesting, because more calories are consumed as muscle mass increases. It is, in fact, muscle mass that causes body fat to burn. The percentage of muscle in your body is calculated by a smart scale based on your body’s resistance, but again, this is more of an indication than an infallible measurement.
Some smart scales also give you an idea of your bone mass. Most of the time, this is a rough estimate based on your size. The taller you are, the greater your bone mass. This kind of bone mass measurement using a smart bathroom scale won’t be truly accurate, as you would need to be able to measure the width of the bones in the wrists and knees. To determine whether or not you are big boned , as Eric Cartman said so nicely in South Park .
Smart scales also measure the Body Mass Index or BMI. This is the ratio of your height to your weight. You can figure this out yourself with a simple calculation, but a smart scale will do it for you too. Parameters such as gender and age, important for interpreting your BMI, will also be taken into account by the scale. Your BMI is a convenient way to determine if – for your height, age and gender – you are a healthy weight, or if you are overweight or underweight.
Although measurements with a smart bathroom scale should be taken with a little distance, or even latitude, it can be a good investment. You know that feeling: you get high at sports, but the number on the scale doesn’t go down? Although you have not lost weight, chances are that your amount of fat has decreased significantly. And you can cleverly keep tabs on that data with a smart scale and the corresponding health and fitness apps. If you can track all of these relevant metrics and see that you are making progress, you will continue your efforts with even more motivation.