Tanita users most frequently asked questions from wrong readings to optimal measuring.
- Is the scale on hard flooring? (floating floorboards, carpet, thin carpet over concrete, rubber matting etc. will create variances in the readings)
- Have the batteries recently been changed?
- Has the required hydration level been reached? (refer to the healthy range chart)
- Does the user have bare feet?
- Have your heels correctly aligned with the electrodes of the unit, given the unit has visible electrodes. It is ok should the toes overhang the measuring platform. Do not touch the sides of the scale with your feet (e.g BC-1000)
- It is not recommended to step on and off the scale consecutively.
- Does the person have metallic implants?
- How old is the user? (The monitor will not show all readings for children.)
If you’re still having trouble, please contact our Consumer Care Centre toll free number 1800 545 444 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tanita monitors are within 5% of the Pencil Beam DEXA scan for accuracy. Please ensure you are comparing your results with a Pencil Beam DEXA scan and not Fan Beam as this will result in a larger variation than the stated 5%.
Please also ensure you’re meeting this criteria to ensure you receive accurate results.
Unfortunately, Tanita Australia does not calibrate scales. Instead, we offer a 5-year replacement warranty on the entire range should you experience any issues.
The Athlete mode was developed to provide a more accurate reading for athletic body types. Athletic body types are physiologically different than standard adult body types, due to muscle mass and hydration level differences. Athletes tend to have greater muscle mass and tend to be more dehydrated. These differences would skew the body fat reading high, when taken with the standard Adult mode.
- Tanita defines “athlete” as a person involved in intense physical activity for approximately 12 hours per week or more.
- Those who belong to a sport team or a sport organization with the aim of participation in competition, etc.
- Those who exercise to build up muscle like a bodybuilder.
- Those who are professional athletes.
More frequently asked question – before and after owning a Tanita scale.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is considered one of the most reliable and accessible methods of screening body fat. Tanita patented a revolutionary way of measuring BIA that is faster, easier and less intrusive than traditional means – being the first company to introduce the world to the body fat monitor scale. Electrodes in the foot sensor pads send a low, safe electrical signal through the body and weight is calculated automatically along with up to 10 other readings in seconds.
In conventional BIA, a person is weighed, and their height, age, gender, and weight, or other physical characteristics such as body type, physical activity level, ethnicity are entered in a computer. While the person is lying down, electrodes are attached to various parts of the body and a small electric signal is applied.
BIA measures an individual’s impedance or resistance to the electrical signal as it travels through the water that is found in muscle and fat. The more muscle a person has, the more water their body can hold and the greater the amount of water in a person’s body, the easier it is for the electrical signal to pass through it. The more fat an individual has, the more resistance they have to the electrical signal. BIA is safe and a large majority of the population cannot feel the electrical signal at all, however weight only mode should be used for those with pace makers.
- Body Water Percentage
- Muscle Mass
- Physique Rating
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Metabolic Age
- Visceral Fat
- Bone Mass
- Muscle Quality
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
Today, this method is considered the golden standard because of its reliability, precision and the fact that it is based on three body components (fat, muscle and bone) rather than two (fat and muscle) as in most methods including hydrostatic weighing. It allows fat distribution throughout the entire body to be read in a single scan. The equipment used is very expensive and a person must lie perfectly still for 10-20 minutes while the can is taken. DEXA is found mainly in research facilities.
Done correctly, this method is quite accurate and considered to be a golden standard. However, the test is somewhat subjective because it relies upon the subject’s ability to expel all oxygen from their lungs while submerged in a tank of water. Oxygen remaining in the lungs will skew the results. In clinical settings, this procedure is repeated a number of times, and an average is taken. The “tank” is expensive and the inconvenience to the user is considerable. Because of the cost, lengthy testing process and physical burden to the subject, this method is more suitable for research studies.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis uses a small electrical signal to measure body impedance. The signal is conducted through the water contained in the body. Lean muscle has much more water than fat tissue and allows the signal to pass easily. Fat causes impedance or resistance to the signal.
Conventional BIA methods are accurate, though not as convenient as the Tanita BIA method, and may be subjective based on the placement of electrodes. The user must be in a horizontal position while electrodes and conductive jelly are placed on a wrist and ankle. This procedure is usually performed in a physician’s office or clinic. Most conventional BIA manufacturers use hydrostatic weighing as the reference method.
Tanita’s leg to leg version of BIA produces very accurate results that are highly correlated to both DEXA (Tanita’s reference method) and hydrostatic weighing. Measurements are very repeatable when tests are performed under consistent conditions. The equipment is not expensive, making Tanita a professionally accepted method that can be adapted easily for home use. There is not physical imposition on the user; no need for a training technician to operate the equipment and the entire procedure takes less than one minute.
Skin measurements taken by calipers are easy to do, inexpensive and the method is portable. However, results can be very subjective depending on the skill of the technician and the site(s) measured. The quality of the calipers is also a factor. Inexpensive models sold for home use are usually less accurate than those used by an accredited technician. Additional, the more obese the subject, the more difficult to ‘pinch’ the skin correctly. Many people find calipers to be uncomfortable and invasive.
NIR (Near Infra-Red)
A fiber optic probe measures tissue composition at various sites on the body. This method has become popular because it is simple, fast, non-invasive and the equipment is relatively inexpensive. However, studies have produced mixed results, and a high degree of error has occurred with very lean and very obese people. Numerous sources report that more research is needed to substantiate this method. More in-depth comparisons can be found in our recent publications.
Measuring weight alone is not a completely accurate assessment of health or fitness. This is because it does not distinguish the kilos that come from fat and the kilos that come from lean muscle mass. It is necessary for everyone to have some body fat, but too much fat will result in obesity (one of Australia’s biggest health issues).
Yes, both extremes (too much or too little body fat) can put an individual at risk for serious medical and/or psychological conditions. Having a very low body fat percentage, particularly for women can result in musculoskeletal problems and osteoporosis. It can also upset the hormonal balance causing loss of menstruation. Striving for extremely low body fat can result in severe eating conditions such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating which have significant health implications.
- Select a consistent time of day and stick to it.
- Have an empty bladder.
- Be properly hydrated (please refer to our healthy range chart)(refer to the healthy range chart).
- Ensure foot pads are clean (as they otherwise may interfere with conductivity).
- Have bare feet.
- Use a drop of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol on the foot pads to act as a conductor.
- Early morning is not recommended because the body is often dehydrated after a night’s sleep.
- Once you have established your baseline, monitor your body fat about twice a month. Checking your body fat every day or too frequently is not beneficial as changes occur slowly over time.
Things that can also affect hydration include: strenuous exercise, recent food intake and diuretics such as caffeine, alcohol and certain medications.
People with pacemakers are advised to not use the monitors. Although there are no known health risks, this is a precaution that is advocated by all manufacturers of BIA. If they use the monitor, they should use it in weight only mode.
People with non-electronic medical implants may safely use the monitor however, any metallic implants in your body could affect the body fat reading. However, you can still use the monitor to successfully track the relative changes in your body over time. This is because the metal will continue to have the same effect on the reading time you take a measurement.
- People with pacemakers.
- Pregnant women.
- People who exceed the weight capacity of the scale.
- People who exceed 75% body fat.
However, when you are pregnant, the hormones in your body go into overdrive to provide optimum conditions for growing the baby. Fat is stored around the stomach and hip areas to provide warmth and protection for the fetus and is not as evenly distributed around the body as it would be at other times. As a result, this impacts the readings given by the body fat monitor.
The total body water percentage for a person who’s pregnant will also be different than usual. Due to the lack of data to validate what is considered to be healthy levels of body fat and water during pregnancy, the readings may not be as accurate.
If you are an adult who has approximately 10 hours of intense physical activity and have a resting heart rate of approximately 60 beats per minute or less, you’re probably suited to use athlete mode. Tanita uses a mathematical formula to determine body fat percentage based upon these variables: height, weight, gender, age group and resistance (impedance). The athlete mode was designed through population studies of individuals meeting the above criteria.
- Press the weight-only key. After 2 or 3 seconds, ‘0.0’ will appear on the display and the unit will beep.
- When ’0.0’ appears on the display, step onto the platform. The body weight value will appear.
If you remain on the platform, the display will flash for about 30 seconds and then the power will automatically turn off. If you step off the platform, the weight will continue to show for about 5 seconds, then ‘0.0’ will appear and the unit will shut automatically.
The previous readings of the following features can be obtained using the recall function: weight, body fat %, total body water %, muscle mass and physique rating, BMR, metabolic age, bone mass and visceral fat level.
To obtain your previous readings, press the SET button while the current readings are being displayed. The display will automatically show the previous readings of weight and body fat %. To see other previous readings, press the appropriate feature key for each desired reading. Pressing the same feature key twice will allow you to view the previous weight and body fat results. Press the SET button again to go back to the current weight and body fat % result display.
- Level 1: Inactive lifestyle (little or no exercise).
- Level 2: Moderately active lifestyle (occasional, low intensity exercise).
- Level 3: Adult involved in intense physical activity (athlete).
Note: if you select the athlete mode, the profile will automatically default the activity level to level 3.
The reason that Tanita cannot provide all measurements for children is due to the lack of database and statistics to support the readings. Being correlated toe DEXA results with 0.92~0.96 accuracy, Tanita’s BIA technology relies on the statistical data collected from DEXA to provide this validation.
However, by scanning children with DEXA, we would have to expose children frequently to radiation which can seriously affect their bone growth while after puberty (or the age of 17), the effect of radiation on bone growth is comparatively less. As the supporting data is limited for children, Tanita hesitate to provide such measurement.
Segmental monitors have 8 electrodes (areas of contact) and provide overall full body readings. These monitors are also capable of breaking down the body fat and muscle mass readings for each arm, leg and trunk area and generally someone focusing on rehabilitation will find this level of analysis useful. We have also found that when an individual is top or bottom heavy, the segmental scale offers them more accurate results. Having insight into knowing your fat and muscle distribution is helpful to correct any muscle imbalances to avoid injury.
Note: To receive accurate readings, it is important that users are in the correct mode (normal or athlete) and reach the required hydration level.
Daily Calorie Intake is the sum of calories for basal metabolism, daily activity metabolism (activities including daily household chores) and diet induced thermogenesis (energy used in connection with digestion, absorption, metabolism and other eating activities). It is an estimate of how many calories you can consume within the next 24 hours and maintain your current weight
Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum number of calories your body needs at rest to fuel its metabolic activity. In other words, this is the minimum level of energy your body needs when at rest to function effectively, including your respiratory and circulatory organs, neural system, liver, kidneys and other organs. You also burn calories when sleeping.
Tanita Monitors rely on the body’s electrical conductivity, which in turn relies on the body’s fluid levels.
Fat tissue is dehydrated, and therefore resists an electrical signal, whilst muscle tissue is relatively hydrated, and therefore conducts an electrical signal.
If the user does not meet the required hydration levels the results received will not be accurate and align with the research conducted by Tanita.
Factors such as temperature, how much exercise you have done, when you last had a drink, medical conditions (including menstruation), medications, alcohol, caffeine etc. can also affect the hydration level of a person’s muscle tissue, which can then affect the body fat reading.
The time of day can also affect hydration levels, as well as fluid distribution in the body. It is for this reason that Tanita recommend that readings are most consistent when taken between 6 and 8 pm before eating.
By calculating the Basal Metabolic Age with a wider range equation, it will result in a higher metabolic age. We should mention that the difference in metabolic age is usually only experienced for those over the age of 50, and hence you may notice that whilst the metabolic age readings for those under the age of 50 is the same or varies very slightly, this is not the case of those over the age of 50. For anyone older than 50, the BC-1000 will give them the accurate metabolic age.
For all models that have a metabolic age of up to 50 it should be noted that users who receive a metabolic age reading of 50 may have a slower metabolism and therefore may have a metabolic age of over 50.
Tanita have medical grade models and the models we carry are developed to provide consumer alternatives that are portable, affordable and easy to use. However due to the variances in electrodes the information provide slightly varies.
Connecting the scale
When using the scale for the first time after an extended period of time in order for the ANT stick to pick up the scales wireless connection you must connect to the scale. To connect the scale, please follow these steps:
- Ensure the ANT+ is securely plugged into the computer.
- Open Healthy Edge Software.
- Select File.
- Select Healthy Edge options.
- Select BC-1000.
- Select connect.
- When the green light comes up on the scale stand on the scale with bare feet to activate the connection.
- Please ensure you eject the ANT+ stick properly from your computer prior to unplugging it. Failure to do so can cause the ANT+ to malfunction.
How to calculate stride length:
The stride length is taken as the distance between the toes on one foot and the toes on the other foot. To accurate find your average stride length, walk for 10 steps and then divide the total distance walked by 10.
Examples of Errors
Error in GetUserName | File Not Found | Error in CreateNewDatabase | Unable to create a new Data File
If you are experiencing any of the errors mentioned above, please follow the steps below:
- Uninstall any components related to the Healthy Edge Software
a. Go to Start (bottom left)
b. Select Control Panel
c. Select Programs
d. Find Healthy Edge Software and uninstall it
- Download Microsoft SQL here:
a. Please download both x64 and x86 files.
b. Install the x86 first, and then try to install the x64.
- Restart your computer
- Install the Healthy Edge Software
- The software should now be working. Sometimes an error message may still appear (this is inevitable). You will know if the software is properly installed if the software stays open after clearing all the error messages.
Ant+ Driver not installed correctly.
Normally the ANT+ driver should install automatically at the same time as the Healthy Edge Software. If this isn’t the case, please follow the steps below:
- Click on start (bottom left)
- Click Add Hardware (or Devices)
- Follow the prompts to allow your computer to search for the driver.
- If unsuccessful, please download the ANT+ driver manually here [link to ant+driver]