How Does a Body Fat Analyzer Work?


Hand or Stand

  • Body fat analyzers come in two different types. They are either held in the hands of they are stepped on like a scale. In order to use them, your skin needs to be bare.

Eat and Drink

  • When you use a body fat analyzer, there are a lot of factors that can affect the reading. Consumption of food, caffeine and any type of liquid can cause your body fat to read higher. The best time to use them is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.


  • When using a hand-held analyzer, you need to answer a few questions about your age, weight, height, activity level and gender. It is important to be accurate when answering these questions. The activity level is either "normal" or "athlete." They consider an athlete to be anyone who exercises four or more days per week.


  • Body fat analyzers have galvanized electrodes that send a small, painless current of electricity through your body. With the hand-held version, this signal is sent through one hand and travels down to the waist area, back up the body and through the other hand to the other electrode. It measures the subcutaneous fluid under the skin; in other words, your body fat. The floor version works the same way, except you stand on it, and it sends the signal up through your legs to your waist and back down.

Step or Squeeze

  • After you input the information on the digital screen, the analyzer is ready for use. You grab the galvanized electrodes firmly, extend your arms straight out, hit the start button and wait for about seven seconds. Your body fat percentage then appears on the screen. For the step-on version, you just step on it, cover the electrodes with your feet and wait for the results to appear.

Margin of Error

  • The results of a body fat analyzer are not set in stone. They can have a tendency to be plus or minus two percent at any given time. The best purpose they serve is giving you a reference point.

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