There’s no lack of information and opinion on the use of bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) to measure body composition. So let’s instead take a look at the technology and how it works. Knowledge is power. Absorb a lot of it and then put it to good use!
BIA is a technique to estimate body composition based on the difference in electrical conductive properties of various tissues. A safe electrical current is applied to the body. The amount applied and the amount detected are measured. The difference is used to conduct the analysis and determine body composition. It is the extent to which the current is impeded or resisted that is directly related to the type and amount of tissue through which the current has passed. (We took that right out of a scholarly presentation from UVM. The good news – you won’t have a quiz next week.) A traditional scale cannot tell the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. The SECA scale can and uses a sophisticated measurement of impedance.
Impedance is a measure of how electrical current is slowed or stopped as it passes through material. In health and fitness, we are very interested in fat and muscle tissue and measuring how much of each is present.
Adipose tissue (fat) – high impedance
- Being 20% water, fat is not a good conductor of electrical current
Muscle tissue – low impedance
- At 75% water, muscle is a good electrical conductor
Using the SECA scale, your body composition is measured in about 20 seconds. It takes into account height, weight, age, and ethnicity, correcting for factors that other scales and methods do not. This is one scale you’ll want to step on, watching as your dedication to a healthier state of being shows inside your being through this advanced analysis.
What are you made of?
Find out today at FITTLab by the MIAMI Institute