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Optimal Measuring Conditions & Maintenance

Optimal Measuring Conditions and Maintenance

  • Pick a consistent time of day. it is recommended to take your readings in the evening before dinner as the human body is usually dehydrated in the morning.
  • Ensure you have an empty bladder.
  • Be sufficiently hydrated. Hydration may be influenced by several factors, which may include but are not limited to sleep deprivation, body fat percentage, exercise, diet, certain medications, and the menstrual cycle. Check that you meet the required hydration level with our Healthy Range Chart
  • Ensure optimal conductivity. Conductivity may be influenced by cleanliness of the foot pads, by wearing nylons or severe calluses on heels or soles of feet (approximately 1/400 people tested).
  • Monitor body fat percentage approximately twice a month. Checking body fat more frequently is not beneficial as changes occur slowly over time.


  • No maintenance is required other than the use of alcohol to wipe foot pads from time to time and glass cleaner when necessary.
  • In order to keep the monitor shiny always apply alcohol to a cloth first, then to the product.
  • Avoid soaps.


Visceral Fat

This feature indicates the rating of visceral fat in your body. Visceral fat is the fat that is in the internal abdominal cavity, surrounding the vital organs in the trunk (abdominal) area. Research shows that even if your weight and body fat remains constant, as you get older the distribution of fat changes and is more likely to shift to the trunk area especially post menopause and for males. Healthy levels of visceral fat may reduce the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and the onset of type 2 diabetes. The Tanita Body Composition Analyzer will provide you with a visceral fat rating from 1 – 59.

Rating from 1 to 12
Indicates you have a healthy level of visceral fat. Continue monitoring your rating to ensure that it stays within the healthy range.

Rating from 13 – 59
Indicates you have an excess level of visceral fat. Consider making changes in your lifestyle possibly through diet changes and/ or increased exercise.

Physique Rating

This feature assesses your physique according to the ratio of body fat and muscle mass in your body. As you become more active and reduce the amount of body fat, your physique rating will also change accordingly. Even though your weight may not change, your muscle mass and body fat levels may be changing, making you healthier and at lower risk of certain diseases. Each person should set their own goal of which physique they would like and follow a health and fitness program to meet that goal.

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is the amount of body fat as a proportion of your body weight.

Reducing excess levels of body fat has been shown to reduce the risk of certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Measuring weight alone or even relying on BMI is not an accurate assessment of health or fitness, because it doesn’t distinguish kilograms that come from fat and kilograms that come from lean muscle mass. A certain percentage of body fat is necessary for everyone, however high levels of fat results in obesity, one of the biggest health issues in Australia.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the simplest and most common method of determining if someone is the recommended weight for their height and gender. The method, though widely used, does not distinguish between muscle and fat and can therefore be highly inaccurate.

Body Water Percentage

Body water percentage is the total amount of fluid in a person’s body expressed as a percentage of their total weight.

Water plays a vital role in many of the body’s processes and is found in every cell, tissue and organ. Maintaining a healthy body water percentage will ensure the body functions efficiently and will reduce the risk of developing associated health problems. Your body water levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day and night. There are differences in fluid distribution between day and night and your body tends to be dehydrated after a long night. Eating large meals, drinking alcohol, menstruation, illness, exercising, and bathing may cause
variations in your hydration levels.

Your body water percentage reading should act as a guide and should not be used to specifically determine your absolute recommended body water percentage. Drinking a large quantity of water in one sitting will not instantly change your water level. In fact, it will increase your body fat reading due to the additional weight gain.

Please monitor all readings over time to track the relative change. Every individual varies but as a guide the average body water percentage ranges for a healthy adult are:

Female: 45 to 60%
Male: 50 to 65%

Note: You must meet these levels of hydration to receive accurate readings on a Tanita body composition monitor.

The body water percentage will tend to decrease as the percentage of body fat increases. A person with a high percentage of body fat may fall below the average body water percentage. As you lose body fat the total body water percentage should gradually move towards the typical range given above.

Bone Mass

This feature indicates the predicted weight of bone mineral in the body. Research has shown that certain types of exercise are related to stronger, healthier bones. While bone structure is unlikely to make noticeable changes in a short period, it is important that you develop and maintain healthy bones by having a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

People worried about bone disease should consult their physician and educated personal trainer. People who suffer from osteoporosis or low bone densities due to advanced age, young age, pregnancy, hormonal treatment or other causes, may not receive accurate estimations of their bone mass. However, it needs to be considered that Tanita’s body composition monitors do not directly measure bone density.

Muscle Mass

This feature indicates the weight of muscle in your body. The muscle mass displayed includes the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles (such as cardiac and digestive muscles) and the water contained in these muscles.

Muscles play an important role as they act as an engine in consuming energy. As your muscle mass increases, your energy consumption increases helping you reduce excess body fat levels and lose weight in a healthy way.

Metabolic Age

Metabolic Age is a calculation of your BMR and indicates the average age associated with that type of metabolism. If your BMR Age is higher than your actual age, it is an indication that you need to improve your metabolic rate.

Increased exercise will build healthy muscle tissue, which will improve your metabolic age. You will obtain a reading between 12 and 90. Under 12 will be displayed as “12” and over 90 will be displayed as “90”.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimum level of energy your body needs when at rest for your respiratory, circulatory and neural system, liver, kidneys and other organs to function effectively.

Daily Calorie Intake

Daily Calorie Intake is the amount of calories you can consume within 24 hours and still maintain your current weight.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum level of energy need at rest to function effectively. A person with a high BMR can burn more calories at rest than a person with a low BMR. BMR is based on the level of muscle mass.

Accuracy and Measuring Method

Accuracy and Reliability

Tanita is the only company to offer home use products, incorporating 20 years of sound independent medical research and expertise gained from researching over 100,000 people. This ensures that Tanita’s measurements are the most accurate and reliable in the sector.

Independent research at several major universities including Columbia University in New York City have confirmed that in clinical settings, the Tanita Body Composition Monitors are 99.9% accurate in terms of weight and in terms of the body fat percentage, if the required level of hydration is achieved, the scales are within 5% of Pencil Beam DEXA readings.

Tanita’s BIA

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is considered one of the most reliable and accessible methods of screening body fat. Tanita has patented a revolutionary new way of measuring BIA that is faster, easier, and less intrusive than traditional means – being the first company to introduce the world to the body fat monitor scale. Electrodes in the foot sensor pads send a low, safe electrical signal through the body and weight is calculated automatically along with up to 10 other readings that are highly correlated with DEXA in seconds.

Conventional BIA

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) uses a very low electrical signal to measure body impedance. The signal is conducted through the water contained in the body. Lean muscle has much more water than fat tissue and allows the signal to pass easily. Fat causes impedance or resistance to the signal.

Conventional Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis methods are accurate, though not as convenient as the Tanita BIA method, and may be somewhat subjective based on the placement of electrodes. The user must be in a horizontal position while electrodes and conductive jelly are placed on wrist and ankle. This procedure is usually performed in a physician’s office or clinic. Most conventional BIA manufacturers use hydrostatic weighing as the reference method.

DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)

There are two types of DEXA scans.

  1. Pencil Beam DEXA (Tanita research is based on Pencil Beam DXA) and
  2. Fan Beam DEXA

Tanita bases it research on the Pencil Beam DEXA which takes longer to complete, is known as the golden standard DEXA because of its reliability, precision and the fact that it is based on the three body components fat, muscle and bone.

Most other methods including hydrostatic weighing only include the two body components fat and muscle. DEXA allows fat distribution throughout the entire body to be read in a single scan. The equipment used is very expensive and a person must lie perfectly still for 10-20 minutes while the scan is taken.

Hydrostatic Weighing

This method is also an accurate, standard method. However, the test is subjective because it relies upon the subject’s ability to expel all oxygen from their lungs while submerged in a tank of water. Oxygen remaining in the lungs will skew the results. In clinical settings, this procedure is repeated a number of times and an average is taken. In regards to the required expenses related to the tank, the lengthy testing process and physical burden to the subject, it is more suitable for research studies.


Skinfold measurements taken by callipers are easy to do, inexpensive and the method is portable. However, results can be very subjective depending on the skill of the technician and the site(s) measured. The quality of the callipers is another factor that needs to be considered. Inexpensive models sold for home use are usually less accurate than those used by an accredited technician. Additionally, the higher fat percentage of the individual, the more difficult it is to measure the skin folds correctly. Many people find callipers to be uncomfortable and invasive.

NEAR Infra-Red NIR

A fiber optic probe measures tissue composition at various sites on the body. This method has become popular because it is simple, fast, non-invasive, and the equipment is relatively inexpensive. However, studies have produced mixed results, and a high degree of error has occurred with very lean and over weight people. Numerous sources report that more scientific research is needed to substantiate this method.

Safety Hazards

Medical devices and Implants

Persons with pacemakers or other electronic medical implants should not use the monitor. Persons with non-electronic medical implants may safely use the monitor.

Any metallic implant in your body could affect the body fat reading. However, since the metal will continue to have the same effect on the reading each time you use the monitor, you can still use the monitor to successfully track the relative changes in your body over time.