How does Tanita work?

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.

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In conventional BIA, a person is weighed, and their height, age, gender, and weight, and other physical characteristics such as body type, physical activity level and 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.

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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.

The human body is mainly composed of body fat and lean body mass. Lean body mass is divided into protein, mineral, and body water. Protein is a main element of muscle while minerals are commonly found in bones.

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Generally, an unhealthy body composition refers to person having too much body fat in proportion to their lean muscle tissue distribution. The more fat an individual has, the more at risk they are to developing health complications such as heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, back pain and more.