What is body composition? The definition of body composition is 'the percentages of bone, fat, water and muscle in human bodies'. All these factors can be measured.
What is Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis? Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis is a technique used for estimating body composition. With BIA you can get a quick overview of the water and fat percentage in a body. It's a fast and safe technique that's become very popular to its ease of use.
When you stand on a our monitor, a very low, safe electrical signal is sent from four metal electrodes through your feet to your legs and abdomen. The electrical signal passes quickly through water that present in hydrated muscle tissue but meets resistance when it hits fat tissue. This resistance, known as impedance, is measured and input into scientifically validated equations to calculate body composition measurements. Depending on the monitor, body composition measurements are provided in under 20 seconds.
What we measure and attach numbers to:
Total Weight The number you weigh in lbs.
Body Fat Percentage Body fat percentage s the proportion of fat to the total body weight. Body fat is essential for maintaining body temperature, cushioning joints and protecting internal organs. Body fat scales can help you keep track of your body fat. Although you need healthy body fat, too much fat can damage your long-term health. 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. Too little body fat may lead to osteoporosis in later years, irregular periods in women and possible infertility. It is important to keep track of your body fat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Visceral Fat Visceral fat is located deep in the core abdominal area, surrounding and protecting the vital organs. Even if your weight and body fat remains constant, as you get older the distribution of fat changes and is more likely to shift to the abdominal area. 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.
Muscle Mass The predicted weight of muscle in your body. Muscle mass includes the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles such as cardiac and digestive muscles and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles act as an engine in consuming energy. 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. If you are exercising hard your muscle mass will increase and may increase your total body weight too. That’s why it’s important to monitor your measurements regularly to see the impact of your training programme on your muscle mass.
Total Body Water Total Body Water is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of total weight. Body water is an essential part of staying healthy. Over half the body consists of water. It regulates body temperature and helps eliminate waste. You lose water continuously through urine, sweat and breathing, so it’s important to keep replacing it. The amount of fluid needed every day varies from person to person and is affected by climatic conditions and how much physical activity you undertake. Being well hydrated helps concentration levels, sports performance and general wellbeing. Experts recommend that you should drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. of fluid each day, preferably pure, filtered water. If you are training, it’s important to increase your fluid intake to ensure peak performance at all times.
The average TBW% ranges for a healthy person are: Female 45 to 60% Male 50 to 65%
Bone Mass The predicted weight of bone mineral in your body. While your bone mass is unlikely to undergo noticeable changes in the short term, it’s important to maintain healthy bones by having a balanced diet rich in calcium and by doing plenty of weight-bearing exercise. You should track your bone mass over time and look for any long term changes.
Physique Rating Assesses muscle and body fat levels and rates the result as one of nine body types. As your activity level changes, the balance of body fat and muscle mass will gradually change, which in affects your overall physique.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) The daily minimum level of energy or calories your body requires when at rest (including sleeping) in order to function effectively. Increasing muscle mass will speed up your basal metabolic rate (BMR). A person with a high BMR burns more calories at rest than a person with a low BMR. About 70% of calories consumed every day are used for your basal metabolism. Increasing your muscle mass helps raise your BMR, which increases the number of calories you burn and helps to decrease body fat levels.
Your BMR measurement can be used as a minimum baseline for a diet programme. Additional calories can be included depending on your activity level. The more active you are the more calories you burn and the more muscle you build, so you need to ensure you consume enough calories to keep your body fit and healthy.
Metabolic Age Compares your BMR to an average for your age group. This is calculated by comparing your basal metabolic age (BMR) to the BMR average of your chronological age group. If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it’s an indication that you need to improve your metabolic rate. Increased exercise will build healthy muscle tissue, which in turn will improve your metabolic age. Stay on track by monitoring regularly.
Body Mass Index A standardized ratio of weight to height, This is used as a general indicator of health. Your BMI can be calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters). BMI is a good general indicator for population studies but has serious limitation when assessing on an individual level.