What Is Segmental Analysis?
Let’s break it down.
During your research & planning of your new health and fitness routine, you may have come across the term “segmental analysis” and questioned what it means.
In this article, we break down what segmental analysis is – and who benefits from it the most. To explain segmental analysis, it’s important to understand body composition.
What Is Body Composition?
With respect to health and fitness, body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, bone and muscle in the human body.
Two people at the same height and same body weight may have different health issues because they have a different body composition.
What is a Body Composition Monitor?
A body composition monitor sends an imperceptible current through your body. This technology is called bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Muscle, fat, bone and water conduct electricity at different rates. These rates of resistance are measured by the monitor.
The body composition monitor processes this information combined with formulas and data such as your gender and age. This provides you with a wealth of measurements regarding fat, muscle, bone and water to give you a reading for;
- Body Fat %
- Total Body Water
- Muscle Mass
- Muscle Quality
- Metabolic Age
- Visceral Fat Rating
- Physique Rating
- Bone Mass
Body composition monitors offer you a much more complex analysis of your body’s total make up, especially compared to something more rudimentary than a set of bathroom scales that only offers up your total body weight (check out our article on weight vs body composition).
What Is Segmental Analysis?
Segmental analysis allows you to take your understanding of your body composition measurements to an even deeper level.
Segmental analysis divides the body into 5 key areas to provide additional measurements of muscle mass and body fat % for each body segment:
- Torso (or trunk)
- Left arm
- Right arm
- Left leg
- Right leg
So why is it important to get a reading for parts of your body rather than your body as a whole?
Segmental analysis allows you to identify which area of your body requires the most attention and helps you to better reshape your exercise or body balance. You may find that your overall muscle mass could be improved by adding more muscle to your legs, or you might find that your body fat levels are higher in your torso, meaning it’s time to make some changes on the plate.
So how is this measured? Tanita’s segmental body composition monitors are designed to accurately measure and present you with all of your stats and info. With more electrodes than a standard body composition monitor, they’re able to offer measurements with even higher accuracy for each of the 5 body areas.
Who Is Segmental Analysis For?
At this point you might be wondering “do I need to know my segmental analysis?”
The truth is that information at this level is not needed for most people, and a standard body composition monitor will give you all the stats you need and more for you to gain a true insight into your total body health.
However, if you’re someone who is interested in fine-tuning your training or maximising your results as much as possible (such as an athlete or bodybuilder), then segmental analysis is going to allow you to dig deep into your stats and give you as much information as possible to guide your fitness goals.
Similarly, with the rise of smartwatches and wearable fitness trackers, we’ve seen how useful technology is for our health and fitness, and how much we come to rely on this readily available information. Those who are interested in fitness technology and tracking their results in a central data hub will also get a lot of use out of a bluetooth segmental body composition monitor.
Even if you’re not someone who really needs to rely on segmental analysis, Tanita offers a range of products to help guide you on your health and fitness journey, no matter what that looks like. For more information, tips and tricks, check out the Tanita lifestyle blog.