Salter Body Analyser Scales
It has a 300mm square platform of black toughened glass with two 95 x 30 mm metal plates inset to provide the electrical contacts necessary for carrying out the analyses. The scales can display weights of up to 180kg or 400lb in both metric (kg) or Imperial (lb., or st. & lb.) units on the 80 x 40mm back lit display. The resolution is 0.1kg or 0.2lb and, to avoid confusion when taking readings, the fractions are displayed in smaller digits. The control push-buttons for the advanced features are located just over the top edge of the platform.
A set of four 40mm diameter pads are supplied for use under the feet when the scales are used on a carpeted floor rather than on tiles.
The scales feature “step-on” operation whereby, once the scales have been initialised, the scales can be operated just by stepping onto the platform. (Initialisation is done by just putting your weight on the centre of the scales for a moment. The scales then display 0.0 and only have to be re-initialised if they are moved.)
To take advantage of the additional features personal data is required. (For up to 10 individual users .) Just putting one’s weight on the scales switches them on and then enter the data entry mode by pressing the central control button. Here one chooses from male/female/male athlete/female athlete and then height and age for each user, The instruction booklet explains how the “<”,>” and central buttons are used for this purpose.
Then, in order to get one’s own results it is just a matter of switching the scales on and using the push buttons to select your user number. Stepping on the scales with one’s bare feet on the metal pads enables them to carry out their measurements and then, having completed the calculation phase, the different measurements in turn: weight, body fat percentage, body water percentage, BMI (Body Mass Index), muscle mass, BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), and bone mass. It steps through the readings twice so that one has the opportunity of making a note of them. .
The A5-sized instruction booklet explains the simple procedure for setting the scales for each user by providing height, gender etc. and how the scales use a measurement system known as Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) whereby a minute electrical current is sent through the body via the feet and legs. (This accounts for the reason that one has to stand on the metal pads and that one's feet should be slightly damp.) The current flows easily through lean muscle tissue, which has a high fluid content, but not easily through fat. The measurements taken the quantity of muscle can be determined and then the quantity of fat and water can be estimated.
The booklet notes that one should not use the scales if one has a heart pacemaker or when pregnant.
One can compare one’s own results with the figures shown in the tables and graph and there are notes explaining the significance of the results. Even though weight and BMI (which is calculated using height and weight) are straightforward, the instructions point out that the readings for body fat etc. may differ from those obtained using a different make of scales. This is because each make will be using a different algorithm hence, in reality, one would really be using the scales to monitor one’s progress rather than necessarily obtaining absolute values.
As scales I found them extremely easy to use and gave repeatable results even though one had to be careful of differentiate between the fraction 0.8 and zero. Priced at £34.99 the model 3174 scales are easy to use and read and the price is accounted for by the analyser features which could well be of interest to those who are health conscious.
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