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Anyone using the Withings WiFi Body Scale?

Discussion started by kris_norman

Subject Description

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<font>If so, what do think? </font>
<font>What about other technology driven tools?</font>
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hpglow

not using it

A couple years agao I bought an expensive scale that tracked BF% and BMI and what not.  Well I found that all these devices that track BF% with electrical current are fairly inaccurate.  It would go up or down 5% day to day week to week which really isn't even possible.  No one gains that much BF in a week.  The problem with these devices is what they really track is how inductive your body is.  So they are more accurate for finding out if you have electrolitic balance and if your carrying a lot of water.

 

I just use the tape measure method of fat tracking these days.  It isn't as accurate as a caliber check or a boyancy check but it can be done easily by your self at home.  I use this web site... http://www.linear-software.com/online.html but there are plenty more out there to check your fat.  It is important to use the same method every time because they will all give you somewhat different results.

Posted by hpglow on Feb. 22, 2011 at 12:37PM

ghostlykarliion

You may be right

But I think you are missing the point of the device. Tracking body fat would be nice but we all know that no current electronic technology exists to do so accuratley at the average person's home.

 

The point is that I can get a scale that can first, accuratley record my weight (over 350lbs) and second, wirelessly transmit this data to my computer without having to route through an error-prone unit (me).

 

I can simply step on the scale every morning before showering and keep an accurate record of my bodyweight, a passive system that takes a large cause of error out of the equation, I think it's a wonderful device.

Posted by ghostlykarliion on Mar. 22, 2011 at 11:53PM

ghostlykarliion

Addendum

accuratley = accurately

 

this thing really needs an edit button.

Posted by ghostlykarliion on Mar. 22, 2011 at 11:55PM

Roadwarriors

I agree.  When your as big as we are. (I am at 321)  I just want to know what Fat% is doing.  It does not have to be as accurate as a float test.  Yes I am fat I know it.  Just tell me if what I am doing is working or if I need to adjust.

Stepping on the scale and having it upload is perfect.  One less thing for me to worry about and I can get to a workout first thing in the morning.

Posted by Roadwarriors on Mar. 24, 2011 at 10:19AM

hpglow

The problem with them is they are totally inaccurate. You may as well throw a dart at a dart board. I have one in the bathroom that used to be considered one of the best. I can step on it in the morning and be told 20% and then 8 hours later step on it again and it says 25%. I have had it display over 5% differences in just one day. Then if you don't clean the stainless contacts now and then it gets even more random.

 

If you guys like throwing your money in the trash that is your call. I can take 2 seconds to run a tape around my neck, and my waist.

Posted by hpglow on Mar. 24, 2011 at 07:19PM

ghostlykarliion

Re:

Again, you are missing the point of a Wi-Fi scale.

 

A Wi-Fi scale is not a body fat measuring device.

 

A Wi-fi scale is a body weight measuring device.

 

Big Difference.

 

Being able to run a tape around yourself is absolutely worthless for automatically recording and charting how much you weigh over time.

 

IF you were buying it to measure body fat percentage then you should have done your homework and not wasted your money. However if you were buying it to keep an accurate record of your daily weight loss progress then you made a smart move.

 

A Wi-Fi scale is a great tool in the arsenal of someone who wants stay healthy, as long as when you hear 'weight scale' you don't think 'body fat percentage calculator', they are not the same thing.

Posted by ghostlykarliion on Mar. 25, 2011 at 01:09AM

Roadwarriors

Agree completley.  For body fat it doesnt do much for me except I can see my body fat change when my weight does not.  I look more at the trend over days the the exact number.

I use it for weight loss.  Daily burn is not the only site I use.  I also use Google health,  run keeper, and have a log on my website.  I dont even have to touch my computer to have all of those updated automatically.  It even tweets for my motovators to see.  I have over 2000 people watching my weight loss on twitter.  If nothing else that keeps me on track.  

Posted by Roadwarriors on Mar. 26, 2011 at 08:30AM

sillylaughter

Using it!

I'm using the scale.  It definitely makes tracking weight so much simpler, to have it automatically log for you.  Very cool.  I don't pay much attention to the body fat analysis stuff - it seems to fluctuate far too much.  I still think the wi-fi capability and automatic logging makes it worth the money, though.

Posted by sillylaughter on Mar. 28, 2011 at 09:50AM

sillylaughter

Other Technology Tools

My husband and I use the BodyMedia Fit armbands.  We didn't get the bluetooth/wifi version (can't remember which it is).  We just connect daily via USB, but it rocks.  If you manually log your caloric intake you can compare it to the number of calories you've burned (as estimated by the armband) and see whether you're running at a deficit or what have you.  It also measures activity in METs to determine how much of your total exercise was vigorous, how much sleep you got compared to how much time you spent lying down, etc.  I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to get an idea of how much they eat compared to burning.  I really thought I was more active than I was... apparently I spend more time sitting than I thought!  (Now I work at the computer while walking on the treadmill!)

Posted by sillylaughter on Mar. 28, 2011 at 09:53AM

SmithsonianDSP

RE: Body Fat % (in)accuracy

For those who were commenting on the inaccuracy of the body fat percentage readings:

  • First of all, the body fat % reading is not expected nor is it claimed to be a perfect or exact representation of actual body fat. It is an estimate. Understanding how that estimate is calculated, however, you can learn how to improve the accuracy and consistancy of these readings. 
     
    Essentially, the different types of body tissues conduct electricity differently--some better than others. Fatty tissues are nonconductive, so by measuring the electrical impedance (also known as electrical resistance, measured in ohms) of the body and combined with the known height, weight, and other factors regarding body-type and build, several formulas are used to calculate and estimate body fat.

    Note that it is not actually measuring your body fat---because fat does not conduct current---so that is why there are several other factors which can cause variance in this reading. One of these factors is your body's level of hydration; another one is food/drink currently in your stomach (as these will add to weight but not electrical conductivity).   

Here is a direct quote from the Withing WiFi Body Scale documentation: 

To avoid "abnormal" variations in fat mass readings between two weigh-ins, it is best to avoid weighing yourself at certain times:

After Sports: a weighing after sports may lead to mistaken measures of the fat mass. In fact, dehydration due to sweating and the production of excess lactic acid momentarily change your physiology and "trick" the scale. It is therefore recommended that you wait at least 3 hours after physical activity before weighing yourself.

When you get up: weigh yourself as soon as you get up may yield mistaken measures. Indeed, during the night, the body tends to become dehydrated. In addition, your stretched-out position during the night changes the distribution of liquids in the body. It is therefore recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after getting up before weighing yourself.

In conclusion: to get consistent fat mass and lean mass measures, it is especially important to weigh yourself regularly (once or twice a week) under the same conditions and study the evolution of these measures over time. Avoid weighing yourself after sports activity or immediately when you get up.

 

  • The last scale I had with a body fat % display on it is hella-old---from about 6 years ago. With that scale, I did see a regular amount of fluctuation in the body fat % readings in small periods of time.

    At this point, my experiences with the results of the Withings WiFi Scale body fat %, however, have been far more conistant. I have still been seings some small fluctuations in numbers, however the largest day-to-day change I have seen so far is 1.2%.

    In the end, if your experiences of these body-fat % scales are similar to the one I had with my 6-year-old scale, I think that either the measuring technology has progressed significantly since you last knew it, or the Withing scale just hs a better, higher-accuracy implementation. Either way, it may be worth re-looking at.

  • Also, even though there is room for the body fat % readings to fluctuate between readings, where the body fat % features still stays applicable and useful for the Withings is the charting of the your records over time... When that data is charted over time you will be able to see overall patterns and trend-lines which can still be very important. 

    Finally, this poster was asking about people who were using the Withing WiFi scale and about their thoughts on it---not asking for general opinions about body-fat-% scales.  We can start a different subject thread if we want to futher deliberate the usefullness and validity of body-fat-% scales if you want, but let's not hijack this thread.
  • All in all, I really do like my Withings WIFi scale--and one of the biggest reasons for purchasing it was the same as the original poster's: In order to have regular and consistant automatic documentation without having to copy them down after weighing myself and then entering and plotting them into an Excel spreadsheet. I've very pleased with the accuracy of the scale as well, so far. 

Posted by SmithsonianDSP on Jun. 17, 2011 at 07:19AM