How Smart Are the Smart Scales of 2022?

How Smart Are the Smart Scales of 2022?

Long gone are the days your bathroom scale was only capable of providing some combination of three-digit numerals that revealed your present weight. Similar to many other gadgets and devices in our daily lives — TVs, phones, watches, houses, etc. — scales have benefited from an intellectual upgrade. Measuring much more than your weight, today's smart scales intuitively record your total body composition and give you instant updates by syncing with compatible apps. Detailed reports give you access to previous weigh-ins so you can track your personal progress, set specific fitness goals and achieve a well-rounded, optimal level of health.

How Smart Are the Smart Scales of 2022?

Once you’ve input your age, sex and height profile in the app du jour and stepped up to the plate, what else are you learning about what your body’s packing? Everything from BMI, visceral fat, bone and muscle mass, heart rate, water weight, protein percentage and metabolic age are available to be tracked. This full-body analysis is all thanks to Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), which is really just a fancy way of describing the metal plate sensors you stand on, which use an electrical current to estimate your body composition.

It may sound futuristic, but this method is nothing new. In a 1988 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists validated BIA as a reliable method for body composition estimation. “At four laboratories, densitometrically-determined lean body mass (LBM) was compared with BIA in 1,567 men and women, aged 17–62 years and with 3–56% body fat,” the study explained. “The results confirm the validity of BIA and indicate that the precision of predicting LBM from impedance can be enhanced by sex- and fatness-specific equations.”

All in all, smart scales are here to give us a fuller picture of our overall health, which, in part, helps to shape the type of training, exercise, nutrition and hydration decisions we make. When weighing in on the pros and cons of the many brands out there, keep in mind power source, weight limit, maximum number of users and consider what features are a make-or-break for you — app compatibility, Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, ease of use, design, dimensions and price, to name a few. Maybe you find one that fires on all cylinders. That’s what we’re here to help determine.