A common misconception across all boards, but particularly in the fitness industry, is that all BIA devices are the same. That’s completely understandable though – with some snazzy marketing, it’s easy to believe that they’re all as good as each other.
The progression of BIA technology over the years has helped to strongly increase the accuracy in comparison to when BIA debuted back in the 60’s.
Back in the day there was only one frequency.. and it could only measure extracellular water.. And only on one side of the body! So the rest was just a guess.
Now the technology is much more advanced, and although it’s better, these changes are not utilised across all devices.
What makes InBody different?
If you’ve researched the different BIA devices on the market, you would understand that InBody is unique as it’s standalone, patented technology allows a person to be precisely measured and it has a substantial legitimate science and case studies behind it. It is used medically, in Universities and across many different industries because it does not use empirical estimations (eg. age, gender, ethnicity) to use prediction equations to guess how you should look, rather than measuring you as you are.
When you get some quite radical results on other devices, just remember that, regardless of what explanation you are given, it’s that the device is just guessing your results.
If you’re outside of what the device considers a “normal range”, such as a bodybuilder with a high BMI or potentially a long distance runner with a lower BMI, you’re likely to experience quite radical results that don’t reflect what you look like in the mirror, simply because you don’t fit the “normal range”.
And that creates an issue with these devices that are guessing you – for anyone outside the normal range, the results you can get are quite comical.
This means that if you do an InBody scan and then use another device, the results are tremendously different. This difference comes down to the fact that one device is actually measuring you, which is InBody, and the other is making an assumption on your body composition based on the information you are putting in (eg. age, gender).
So how can I tell which device is measuring me for me?
If you were to do 4 scans in a row on an InBody device, changing your age and gender each time, your measurement would be the same, as you are the same person with the same impedance. You can check this on the bottom right hand corner of the result sheet. If you do this on a different device, your scan results would change dramatically compared to your first scan, even though you have not changed at all. Your impedance will still be the same, yet the results are totally different. Some devices now even on their results sheet do not show the impedance table. Why? This table is used to ensure the scan correctly measures you and that is why it is on all InBody devices. To cover this up serves no purpose other than highlighting BIA isn’t really being used in the scan, moreso a software programme based on age and gender inputs.
You need a device that precisely measures you for you – it doesn’t matter if you’re a bodybuilder, if you’re overweight, if you’re underweight or whatever your body type is – it just measures you as you are.
To ensure continuity of the product, we always suggest to try and replicate the scanning conditions. It is generally best to scan first thing in the morning in a fasted state; training, hot showers or saunas prior to a scan are not recommended as these can change your body water ratios and therefore impact your scan results.
InBody devices offer a precise way to measure the changes in your body composition, without having to rely on empirical estimation (age and gender) to produce your results. Whether you use a BIA device within the fitness, medical or corporate industries, it is so important to be able to trust that the device you are using can measure your clients, your patients or your staff exactly as they are – after all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.