Time to find out what you’re made of.

The definition of body composition is ‘the percentages of bone, fat, water and muscle in human bodies’. All these factors can be measured. 

This page explains which measurements there are, and how they impact you. Click on the links to read more about the different measurements.

Tanita produces Body Composition Monitors that can show you all these measurements. 

Tanita Body Composition Monitors bring you fast, accurate body composition results using the latest advanced dual-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology developed by Tanita over the last 25+ years. These body analysis scales give you a true indicator of your inner health and, when monitored over time, can show the impact of any fitness regime or weight management program.

Collapsible content

Body Fat Percentage and Body Fat Mass

Body Fat Percentage is the proportion of fat to the total body weight. Body Fat Mass is the actual weight of fat in your body.

Body fat is essential for maintaining body temperature, cushioning joints and protecting internal organs. Body fat scales can help you keep track of your body fat. 

The energy, or calories, our body needs comes from what we eat and drink. Energy is burned through physical activity and general bodily functions. If you consume the same number of calories as you burn, all the calories are converted into energy. But if you consume more than you burn, excess calories are stored in fat cells. If this stored fat is not converted into energy later, it creates excess body fat. 

Although you need healthy body fat, too much fat can damage your long-term health. Reducing excess levels of body fat has been shown to directly reduce the risk of certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. 

Too little body fat may lead to osteoporosis in later years, irregular periods in women and possible infertility.

It is important to keep track of your body fat with a body fat scale. Then you can check your body fat results against the Tanita healthy body fat ranges. These measurements are available for everyone from age five to 99 years.

For children’s health body fat ranges click image:

For adult’s healthy body fat ranges click image:

Total Body Water

What is Body Water and why is it Important?

Body water (or hydration) is an important measure when it comes to a healthy body. The human body needs water to function the right way. Finding the perfect balance in your body water is key. Your water intake should compensate the loss of body water. 
A human body can lose body water through the skin, via sweat, urine and by breathing. If the balance is right, you will feel at your best! Your body water is not something you think of everyday. You do however step on a bathroom scale now and then. 
Tanita Body Composition Monitors complete a full body scan and provide you with detailed information about your hydration in seconds. With our broad range of monitors & scales, you can keep track of changes in your body water percentage (and other key body composition measurements) from home with Tanita. 

What is body water?

Body water is the total amount of fluid in a human body. The human body should consist of at least 50% of water. The exact percentage varies based on a number of factors (e.g. age and gender). Body water is the primary building block for cells. It helps to regulate the internal body temperature, strengthens your muscles and moisturizes your skin. These are just a few examples why body water and drinking water is so important.

What is the ideal body water percentage?

The ideal body water percentage varies. It is influenced by different factors. Gender, age and body composition affect this percentage. In general, women have a lower body water percentage than men. This is because women have more tissue than men. The ideal percentage for adult women will fluctuate between 45 and 60%, while the ideal percentage for adult men will be between 50 and 65% of the total body. For the real athletic body types it is even recommended to have 5% more body water than the average adult range.

Consequences of not drinking enough water

There are many ways to increase your body water percentage. It starts with drinking at least 2 litres of water per day. Most important: never wait until you are thirsty. Furthermore, it is recommended to start your day with a glass of water. This will clean the body from waste and toxins. Another way to increase your body water percentage is to eat raw fruits and vegetables. They are dense in water. This is a good alternative for drinking water all the time. Keep this in mind: drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light colour. 

Visceral Fat Rating

What is Visceral Fat and why is it important?

Visceral fat refers to the fat that is within the internal abdominal cavity, surrounding the vital organs in the trunk (abdominal) area. Unlike ‘normal’ fat, visceral fat is stored deeper in the skin, wrapping around your major organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys and ensures that there is some distance between each organ. It is normal to have some visceral fat however, too much can lead to certain diseases such as heart disease, inflammation and high blood pressure.
Another issue with having too much visceral fat is its impact on adiponectin or the ‘fat hormone’. Adiponectin’s function is to regulate the amount of body fat you have in your body. Visceral fat, on the other hand, inhibits adiponectin and as a result, causes your body to produce more fat than you need. A high level of visceral fat also influences your insulin sensitivity, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes later on in life.

How to measure Visceral Fat?

There are many different ways to measure visceral fat. These include options you can do at home, but also when visiting your GP. 
An easy method you can do at home is to measure the largest parts around your waist and hip. However, please note that this option is not entirely accurate.Once you have measured both your waists and hip, divide the waist by the hip measurement. A healthy body should have less than 1.0 for men or 0.85 for women.
Another good indicator of having a high level of visceral fat is a high BMI score and a large waist. If you have both, chances are likely that you have a high level of visceral fat.
For a more accurate measurement of visceral fat, you can also utilise the Tanita body composition monitor which will provide a rating from 1-59.
Visceral Fat Rating from 1 to 12: 
Indicates you have a healthy level of visceral fat. Continue monitoring your rating to ensure that it stays within the healthy range.
Visceral Fat Rating from 13 to 59: 
Indicates you have an excess level of visceral fat. Consider making changes in your lifestyle, possibly through diet changes and/or increased exercise.

How to reduce your Visceral Fat Rating?

Visceral fat isn’t always visible from the outside, so you don't know it's there until you measure for it. This fact can make visceral fat that much more dangerous. Fortunately, getting on top of your visceral fat levels is doable and manageable. 
You can reduce your visceral fat rating by:
  • Reducing the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Filling up on non-starchy vegetables, fats and proteins.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Getting more potassium in your diet.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Focusing on getting enough sleep.
Maintaining a healthy, active, low-stress lifestyle can prevent visceral fat from building up in excess in the abdominal cavity.

Muscle Mass

What is muscle mass?

To manage your muscle mass and body fat percentage you first have to understand your measurements. Often people mistake building muscle mass with burning body fat. These two often go hand in hand, but they are not the same. Muscle mass includes the weight of all the muscles in your body: skeletal muscles, smooth muscles such as cardiac and digestive muscles and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles act as an engine in consuming energy.
While the body fat percentage measures the amount of fat your body holds. Burning body fat can be a result of the accumulated muscles. Muscles are like engines when it comes to consuming energy. Our muscle mass plays a crucial role when it comes to fitness. When your body builds muscles, it burns energy and fat all the time. As your muscle mass increases, the faster your body is able to burn calories/energy. 
This leads to an increase of your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which helps in losing weight. Muscle mass includes smooth muscles, skeletal muscles and water contained in the muscles. Where the skeletal muscles are the most visible when there is no fat layer. Muscles consist of water and protein. This is why it’s important to include protein in your adjusted eating schedule.

How to gain muscle mass

There is a difference between gaining muscle mass for men and women. Men have a higher muscle production than women; often this is used as an excuse when it comes to growing muscle mass. This does not mean that women cannot gain muscle mass. In fact, women can experience big gains in power and muscle mass as well and they should train their muscles the same way as men do.

Building muscle happens in the gym, but also in the kitchen.

Building muscle mass is not only about going to the gym and lifting. There is an important rule to remember: eating for muscles is just as important as lifting. Combine training with eating well. 
But how do you make sure you eat enough to build muscle? First, you need to know how many calories you need in rest mode. You do that by calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate. Then you make sure to eat more than this. Keep track of the results. If you are training, but your fat levels are going up, lower your caloric intake. If you stay slim, but do not make any progress in the gym (and thus not gaining muscle mass) make sure you eat more. The most accurate way to measure muscle and body fat levels is using a body composition monitor. 
What you eat is also important when trying to gain muscle mass. Keep track of the ingredients you are consuming: not only the amount of calories, but also the nutrients in them. In general: eat healthy, varied, eat often and avoid junk food. 
To build muscles, your body needs protein. Therefore it is important to include lots of proteins in your new diet. Think about products like chicken, turkey, yogurt, beans, nuts and different kinds of fish. However, don’t forget you also need carbohydrates and healthy fats. Keep your diet varied and eat enough vegetables in addition to the protein-rich food in order to gain muscle.

Other important factors to gain muscles are:

  • Drink more water;
  • Do not only lift, take your rest as well;
  • Make sure you sleep enough every night;
  • Avoid alcohol as much as possible;
  • Try to avoid stress, this can have a negative impact on your fitness journey.
Not everyone can train muscles in the same pace. It depends on several factors, for example how (fast) your body reacts. But it’s also in our genetics, it depends on age, experience and the ‘muscle memory’. Muscle memory? When your body has experience in building muscle mass, it can build it much easier and faster.

Muscle balance

When working out and growing muscle, it is important to avoid muscle imbalances. This happens if a muscle is getting stronger, but the opposing muscle isn’t growing correspondingly. Imagine for example that you are training your chest, but are neglecting your back muscles. There is more tension at the front, and your shoulders will hunch forward. That doesn’t just mean your posture now resembles a gorilla’s. It also means there is more pressure on your joints, which can lead to injury. 
It is therefore important to train your muscles evenly. This ensures your posture remains straight. That looks much better and helps avoid injury. If you are already unbalanced, it is time to start working on your underdeveloped muscles.

How to measure muscle mass

We know that more contractile tissue means better muscle quality. That means there are two things we can do to improve ours: making our contractile tissue stronger or decreasing the amount of non-contractile tissue. Luckily, strength training helps with both of these things. So, even if you are an avid runner, it might be a good idea to pick up some weights.  

How do you measure muscle quality?

The Tanita professional body composition monitors can very accurately measure your muscle mass. Our scales are experts’ first choice when it comes to fitness and weight loss. No wonder Tanita is their number one pick. Building muscles has an effect on your bodyweight as well. Often this means that you’re not losing weight. Your are gaining muscle mass and losing fat. On a regular weighing scale this can be frustrating, as your weight will look the same, but you’re actually improving. 
By using Tanita monitors you can get an exact overview and get detailed insights on your progress. The scale also shows you segmental muscle mass ratings. Knowing how your muscles are distributed over your body helps you avoid imbalances. Our scales are great for setting goals and to keep track of them.

Basal Metabolic Rate

What is Basal Metabolic Rate?

Basal Metabolic Rate, also known as BMR, is the amount of energy your body burns at rest on a daily basis. In other words: It is the number of calories required to keep your body function while you are not doing any physical activities.

A deeper understanding of Basal Metabolic Rate

Even when you are resting your body is using energy to function effectively. Your body is making your heart pump blood through your veins, for example. Or your stomach is processing the food you just ate. This process is better known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. Your body consumes almost 70% of the calories to function effectively. Calories are also the first metric people take into consideration when losing weight. Here your BMR can come into play! Increasing your muscle mass helps your BMR. By gaining more muscles the number of calories you burn increases. And this will help you to decrease body fat. Your BMR measurement can be used as a baseline for a diet programme. Extra calories can be included depending on your level of activity. The more active you are the more calories you will burn. Next to this you'll build more muscle mass. This means that you need to keep an close eye on the amount of calories you consume. to keep your body fit and healthy.

Metabolic Age

As people age, their metabolic rate changes. Basal metabolism rises as a child matures and peaks at around 16 or 17, after this point it typically starts to decrease. A low BMR means you have to eat less calories in order to lose body fat and weight. The Metabolic age is calculated by comparing your Basal Metabolic Rate to the average BMR of your chronological age group. If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it’s an sign that you need to improve your metabolic rate. Increased exercise will build healthy muscle tissue, which in turn will improve your metabolic age. Keeping track of your metabolic age will give you an sign when its best to gain more muscle mass.

How to calculate you Basal Metabolic Rate?

A Tanita smart scale scans your entire body. This provides you with a wealth of measurements, among which your Basal Metabolic Rate and Metabolic Age. These measurements are much more accurate than those provided by calculators and are trusted by doctors and experts worldwide. A Tanita body composition monitor helps you keep track of your health and shows you what you can do to improve your fitness routine. Measuring your BMR will help you within your day-to-day routine to achieve weight loss. Let's us know how your journey is going at Facebook.

There are two calculations you can use to manually calculate you (BMR)

Unfortunately, these calculators do ignore some important variables such as the body fat and muscle mass.

Do you want to gain muscle mass or lose it?

In rest mode your muscles consume a lot of energy, compared to fat which uses little energy. Using a Tanita scale will allow for more accurate insight into your Basal Metabolic Rate and Metabolic Age.  

Bone Mass

Why is healthy bone mass important?

You need strong bones. Until you are about 30, your bone mass will normally increase. However, after that it will start to slowly decrease. That does not have to be as bad as it sounds. 
If you take good care of your bones they will likely remain dense enough to avoid any issues. If they deteriorate too quickly, or if you had low bone mass to begin with, you are at risk. Bone issues aren’t noticeable until it is too late. 
It is therefore smart to keep track of your bone mass and check if you are doing well. It is important to keep your bones as strong as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your bones healthy and dense.

Nutrients that contribute to good bone mass

A good diet is a big factor contributing to healthy bones. The following nutrients play important roles:
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
Calcium is the most well-known ingredient for strong bones. The nutrient is famously found in dairy, but also in leafy greens such as spinach, beans, fish with bones (sardines, canned salmon), oatmeal and many other foods. Calcium alone is not enough. 
Other nutrients are needed for calcium to be able to its job well. For starters, your body needs vitamin D to absorb it. Vitamin D is found in shrimp, fatty fish and eggs. Your body also produces vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Many people have too low levels of this vitamin (especially in the winter), so supplementing could be wise. 
The next ingredient needed to help calcium strengthen your bones is potassium. Potassium neutralizes acids that break down calcium. It’s in potatoes (don’t remove the skin), sweet potatoes, oranges, yogurt and bananas. Magnesium is necessary for both calcium and vitamin D to work efficiently. 
Good sources of magnesium are spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and artichokes. Two other vitamins which are good for your bone mass are vitamin K and C. Eat leafy greens, fruits and peppers and your body will be getting these essential nutrients.

Things to reduce or avoid

If you are getting the nutrients above, you are definitely on the right track. However, some things can affect your bone mass negatively. Keep in mind to not overdo it on the following:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
Alcohol interferes with the working of vitamin D. Caffeine prevents calcium from doing its job properly. Do not despair, you do not need to go cold turkey on alcohol and caffeine. 
The negative effects on bone mass happen with heavy use. Keep your coffee and alcohol intake moderate, and you should be good. Smoking prevents the body from effectively absorbing calcium, and therefore decreases bone mass. If you are a smoker, you can add this to the list of reasons to stop.

How do I find out my bone mass?

There is no way to know your bone mass without measuring. To do this at home, you can use a Tanita Body Composition Monitor. Tanita Body Composition Monitors send a very small electric current through your body, and how the current moves through your body provides the monitor with data about your body composition.
Since bones, fat, muscle and other tissue all conduct electricity at a different rate, the scale can then calculate the different measurements that make up your body composition, including your bone mass. The data you receive can be interpreted to assess your health and guide you towards areas of your health you should improve upon. 

Muscle Quality

Are you as strong as you look?

When we want to see whether someone is strong, we often look at the size of their muscles. Someone who has large, bulging muscles must be able to lift a lot. However, the truth is more nuanced than that. Not only the quantity of your muscles is important, but also the muscle quality. 
Two people whose muscles are equally big may therefore have different levels of strength. Even within one person there can be differences. The left leg can for example be stronger than the right one. It is important to be aware of this, as that can lead to injury.

Why does muscle quality differ?

Your muscles consist of two major types of tissue. Firstly, there is contractile tissue. As the name suggests, this contracts and produces force. The other type is non-contractile tissue. This consists of connective tissue and fat. Connective tissue keeps the muscle together, and fat provides energy. The more contractile tissue a muscle consists of, the stronger it is and the higher the muscle quality is. 
As said, you need some non-contractile tissue. However, if fat levels are especially high the muscle will be less strong and muscle quality will be lower. Ageing also negatively affects the quality of your muscles in different ways.

Differences within one person

These differences in muscle quality are not only a factor between individuals. There can even be differences within one person. For example, in a runner, the left leg’s muscle might be stronger than the right. The left leg then produces more strength than the right one. That can have a negative impact on the stance of his hips and even lead to injury.

Improving your muscle quality

We know that more contractile tissue means better muscle quality. That means there are two things we can do to improve ours: making our contractile tissue stronger or decreasing the amount of non-contractile tissue. Luckily, strength training helps with both of these things. So, even if you are an avid runner, it might be a good idea to pick up some weights.  

Physique Rating

Find out what body type you have

The Physique rating assesses muscle and body fat levels. It rates the result as one of nine body types. The Physique rating gives an indication of what type of body you have.
When we start exercising and eating healthier, it can often take a while before we see the actual results. With the physique rating you can get insights in your fat levels and your muscle mass has increased. This also works the other way around. For example when your physical appearance might look good, while your (visceral) fat level has increased. The Physique Rating metric on our Body Composition Monitors gives an indication of your actual performance. With this you can actually start training.

Measuring accurately

In order to assess whether you are at a healthy weight, you need better measurements. At least you’ll want to know your body fat percentage. It would also be good to know how much of your total body fat consists of visceral fat. To be thorough, your muscle mass is also important to know. And if you really want a complete picture, it would be a good idea to also measure your bone mass and body water levels.
You can measure all of these things at home using a Tanita Body Composition Monitor. It sends a small electrical current through your body (don’t worry, you won’t feel it). This allows it to measure all the things mentioned above. Based on your muscle mass and body fat percentage, it will even provide a physique rating. That will give you a clear understanding of what body type you have, much more accurately than BMI can. This allows you to track your health and see progress when you make positive changes to your lifestyle.

Different body types

Physique Rating 1: Hidden Obese

Hidden Obese means that the body has a high percentage of fat and a low level of muscle mass. Even though you might look like average from the outside, your fat levels are too high. This could lead to obesity, which could lead to serious health problems. By eating healthier and increasing your physical activity you should be able to lower your fat levels.

Physique Rating 2: Obese

Obese means that you have a high fat percentage and a standard level of muscle mass. People with an obese physique rating need to be careful. Obesity can lead to serious health problems. Consult a professional to help you when you think you might be obese.

Physique Rating 3: Solidly-built

This means that you have a high body fat percentage and a high muscle mass level. Even tough you might look big on the outside, you actually have a lot of muscle mass underneath.

Physique Rating 4: Under exercised

Under exercised means that you have an average amount of body fat and a low muscle mass level. You should start gaining muscle mass by working out regularly.

Physique Rating 5: Standard

A standard body type means that you have average levels of both body fat and muscle mass. People with a standard body type can progress a lot when they start working out.

Physique Rating 6: Standard Muscular

This means that you have an average amount of fat percentage and have a high muscle mass level. This is a healthy Physique rating, which you can be proud of. This is a rating which some athletes have.

Physique Rating 7: Thin

This means that you have a low amount of body fat and a low muscle mass level. Being too thin could lead to serious health issues, however being a little thin is okay.

Physique Rating 8: Thin and Muscular

This means that you have a low amount of body fat and a standard level off muscle mass. A bikini body! Watch out people can be very jealous!

Physique Rating 9: Very Muscular

Very muscular people have a low amount of body fat and a high level off muscle mass.

How to keep track of your physique rating?

Tanita offers great insights in a very simple way. Where your regular bathroom scale can only display your weight. Tanita scales can give you detailed information on your body composition. With Tanita you can get an accurate scan of your body. With our scales you'll know what physique rating type you are. Knowing that you can really start working out.

Body Mass Index

BMI - Body Mass Index: a very rough indication

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most well-known measurement of the level of fat in your body. It is easy to calculate: just divide your weight by the square of your height. This provides you with a number which indicates whether you are underweight, at a normal weight, overweight or obese. 
However, don’t be too quick to draw conclusions about your health based on this. BMI is not very reliable at the individual level. Read on to understand why this is the case and what you can do to get a better understanding of your fat percentage.

Why BMI was developed?

In the 19th century, Western societies were starting to get more prosperous. For the first time, food was plentiful and obesity was on the rise. The Body Mass Index was devised to keep tabs on the increasing levels of obesity in these populations. When used like this, for large groups, it is reasonably accurate. 
Originally, BMI was not meant for assessing individuals. However, it is easy to calculate and requires no measurements besides height and weight. Because it is so simple, it has been used a lot to quickly determine whether someone is at a healthy weight.

Why BMI is inaccurate?

For those who are of average height and inactive, BMI offers a reasonable indication. However, people’s body types vary a lot. For many, BMI does not accurately represent their body fat percentage. For example, tall people are often more slender in proportion to their height than shorter people. Therefore, their BMI is higher than their actual body fat percentage would warrant. Based on their BMI, they may be seen as overweight, even though they are not. On the other end of the spectrum, shorter people often have a lower BMI than they should have, based on their body fat percentage. 
The Body Mass Index also does not take muscle into account. Muscle is heavier than fat. Therefore, a bodybuilder can be classified as obese, even though he has a very low fat percentage. This goes both ways. Someone who is slender and has very little muscle might think, based on BMI, that he is not overweight. However, they can still have an unhealthy amount of body fat. 
Imagine you decide to start going to the gym. You might be losing fat, but not see any change to your BMI. What your BMI is not telling you, is that you are gaining muscle at the same time. Getting the impression that you are not improving can be very demotivating. 
Finally, BMI does not differentiate between types of body fat. Visceral fat is more of a health issue than the fat under your skin. When assessing your health, it is valuable to be aware what percentage of your fat is visceral.

Measuring accurately

In order to assess whether you are at a healthy weight, you need better measurements. At least you’ll want to know your body fat percentage. It would also be good to know how much of your total body fat consists of visceral fat. To be thorough, your muscle mass is also important to know. And if you really want a complete picture, it would be a good idea to also measure your bone mass and body water levels. 
You can measure all of these things at home using a Tanita Body Composition Monitor. It sends a small electrical current through your body (don’t worry, you won’t feel it). This allows it to measure all the things mentioned above. Based on your muscle mass and body fat percentage, it will even provide a physique rating. That will give you a clear understanding of what body type you have, much more accurately than BMI can. This allows you to track your health and see progress when you make positive changes to your lifestyle.

Athlete Mode

When you set up a user profile on most Tanita Body Composition Monitors and Tanita Body Fat & Hydration Monitors, you may notice that it asks you if you are an athlete. There is a very important reason for this, and it is important to select the correct setting based of your lifestyle. 

Why is there a separate Athlete mode feature on Tanita Body Composition Monitors?

When developing its body composition equations, Tanita found that a different equation was needed to maintain accuracy in the elite athletic population, therefore 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.

When Athlete Mode is recommended?

As a general guideline, we recommend Athlete mode for anyone who carries out 10-12 hours (or more) of intensive cardio-vascular and strength training exercise a week and who has a resting heartbeat of under 60bpm.  They should also have been exercising at this level for at least 6 months.
There is no exact moment when a person becomes an “athlete” and individuals vary. Some people will fall into a “grey” area between athlete and non-athlete; getting a slight underestimation on athlete mode and a slight overestimation on standard adult mode.
Athlete mode is particularly suitable for people in endurance sports like running and cycling and those in cross training. (Professional athletes and body builders may still get an overestimation of their body fat percentage even in Athlete mode.)  

You should chose 'athlete mode' if you're over the age of 18 and if:

  • you train or exercise for 10-12 hours or more a week and have been doing so for at least 6 months. 
  • you are a body builder, weightlifter, power lifter or strongman/strongwoman. 
  • you are professional athlete who wants to monitor their progress at home. 
  • you belong to a sports team or a sports organisation with the aim of participation in competition, etc.
  • you have a lifetime history of fitness and you are someone who used to do more than 12 hours a week of training or exercise but do less now.
  • you have a resting heartbeat of under 60bpm (Keep in mind, some people naturally have a low heart rate – only chose athlete mode if you are actively training at moderate or intense level.)

Segmental Analysis

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:

  1. Body Fat %
  2. Total Body Water
  3. Muscle Mass
  4. Muscle Quality
  5. BMR
  6. Metabolic Age
  7. Visceral Fat Rating
  8. Physique Rating
  9. Bone Mass
  10. BMI

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 blog 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:

  1. Torso (or trunk)
  2. Left arm
  3. Right arm
  4. Left leg
  5. Right leg


Segmental Analysis of Muscle Mass

Monitoring the segmental muscle mass of each of your arms and legs and core abdominal area will help you see and understand the impact of your training programme, correct muscle imbalances and avoid injury.


Segmental Analysis of Body Fat Percentage

Monitoring the segmental body fat percentages of each of your arms and legs and core abdominal area will help you see and understand the impact of your training programme over time.

Why is Segmental Analysis beneficial?

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 with that information can help you tailor your health and fitness routines to create better body balance & symmetry. For example, 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 or change up your exercise routine. 


How do you complete Segmental Analysis?

So how is this measured? Tanita’s segmental body composition monitors conduct a segmental analysis every time you step on and 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