Now that everything is connected, the scales are too and they help a lot to know how we are doing. Weight is not everything and there are many other important factors. But is it worth buying a smart scale or is it really reliable?
The fact that there are more connected devices every day has made those that have to do with health and personal care no less important. On the contrary, I would say, since they are some of the devices with the most demand and, in addition, they increasingly have a greater number of functions that allow us to have controlled our activity and health. Let’s remember that there are already smart watches capable of controlling our heart rate, sugar level or even performing an electrocardiogram. However, one of the devices that has sparked great interest is smart scales. Since in addition to offering us a lot of information about our body, not just the weight figure, they allow us to have control of all the data, progress towards our goal or statistics in our mobile.
What is a smart scale and how does it work?
Basically, a smart scale is a bioimpedance scale to which connectivity has been added. In this sense, the most common thing is that they have WiFi or Bluetooth technology, which allows them to connect and synchronize with a mobile phone or tablet easily. There are even some models with the ability to sync with other devices such as pedometers or GPS watches. In this way and through an app on our mobile phone, we can see the data that our scale has provided us, analyze it and view certain statistics. Now, smart scales with WiFi offer certain advantages over those that use Bluetooth connectivity. They do not need to be close to the mobile phone or device with which it is synchronized and the fact of having access to the Internet can provide them with another series of functions.
Bioimpedance scales are devices capable of measuring a lot of data about our bodysuch as body fat, muscle percentage, fat mass, amount of water in our body and even the weight of our skeletal system.
To do this, and taking into account that our body is made up of a large percentage of water, what this type of scales do is emit a small, negligible electric current or electrical impulses, which travel throughout our body and depending on the time it takes to cross our body, they are capable of determining with greater or lesser precision, the percentage of body fat, percentage of water, bone density, visceral fat, percentage of muscle , etc.
Bioimpedance scales are equipped with two or four electrodes, which are responsible for emitting the electric current through our bare feet, although some models also have other electrodes to hold with our hands and offer greater precision.
What does it measure?
The first thing you need to know is that the functions offered by a smart scale will depend on each model. Each one can offer performance, features and functions depending on its equipment. In addition to the function of calculating our weight, a bioimpedance scale with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity also allows us to:
Know your body fat percentage. A very important piece of information, especially if our goal is to lose weight and that also makes us aware of the risk we are exposing ourselves to in terms of health.
- BMI or body mass index. A value that, according to the WHO, indicates the state we are in based on our height, weight, age…
- muscle mass index. This way, we can control whether the weight we gain is muscle or fat, since the number on the scale can be “misleading.”
- Recommended amount of calories per day depending on the basal metabolism of our body. Very useful information if we also want to follow a diet.
- Hydration level or percentage of body water. It is important to know if we are well hydrated and if we may have any fluid retention problems, so it is also a very interesting fact.
- Weight of our bone structure. These types of scales can make an approximate calculation of what our bones weigh.
- Visceral fat percentage. Without a doubt one of the most important values, since this fat is what surrounds our vital organs and is therefore the most dangerous for our health.
We can see all this data reflected on the scale when we weigh ourselves, but, in addition, as it has WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, it will be synchronized on our mobile phone and we can consult it at any time, see our progress, statistics and more. This information will also depend on the model and the app necessary to view the data.
Some recommended models
Once we are clear about what it is and what it is for, you may wonder what are some of the most interesting models that we can find.
The Withings Body Cardio, for example, is a scale that connects to the Internet via WiFi and that, in addition to indicating our weight, is capable of measuring body composition, heart rate, BMI, muscle mass, fat and body water percentage. It is capable of connecting to the Health Mate app, which we previously had to install on our mobile device, through Bluetooth and also through the WiFi network. It has a range of up to 18 months on a single charge and is also compatible with Apple Health, Fitbit or Google Fit among other applications.
Another of the most recommended models on the market are Garmin scales, especially if we are athletes and have a brand watch that we will synchronize. Garmin is one of the most popular manufacturers when it comes to smart devices for tracking our activity and health. Therefore, it has designed this smart scale so that we can have complete control of our body at our fingertips at all times. Control your weight loss, weight gain or muscle mass increase goals, for example, with this scale and all the data analysis on your mobile. It has WiFi, ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to synchronize up to 16 Garmin Connect accounts and offers information about our weight, BMI, body fat, water percentage, bone and muscle mass, etc.