Understanding your Measurements

Time to find out what you’re made of.

If you can measure it, you can manage it!

The def­i­n­i­tion of body com­po­si­tion is ‘the per­cent­ages of bone, fat, water and mus­cle in human bod­ies’. All these fac­tors can be measured. 

This page explains which mea­sure­ments there are, and how they impact you. Click on the links to read more about the dif­fer­ent measurements.

Tani­ta pro­duces body ana­lyz­ers that can show you all these mea­sure­ments using the lat­est advanced bio­elec­tri­cal imped­ance analy­sis (BIA) tech­nol­o­gy devel­oped by Tani­ta over the last 25 years. These body analy­sis scales give you a true indi­ca­tor of your inner health and, when mon­i­tored over time, can show the impact of any fit­ness regime or weight loss program.

Body Fat Percentage and Body Fat Mass

Body Fat Per­cent­age is the pro­por­tion of fat to the total body weight. Body Fat Mass is the actu­al weight of fat in your body.

Body fat is essen­tial for main­tain­ing body tem­per­a­ture, cush­ion­ing joints and pro­tect­ing inter­nal organs. Body fat scales can help you keep track of your body fat.

The ener­gy, or calo­ries, our body needs comes from what we eat and drink. Ener­gy is burned through phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and gen­er­al bod­i­ly func­tions. If you con­sume the same num­ber of calo­ries as you burn, all the calo­ries are con­vert­ed into ener­gy. But if you con­sume more than you burn, excess calo­ries are stored in fat cells. If this stored fat is not con­vert­ed into ener­gy lat­er, it cre­ates excess body fat.

Although you need healthy body fat, too much fat can dam­age your long-term health. Reduc­ing excess lev­els of body fat has been shown to direct­ly reduce the risk of cer­tain con­di­tions such as high blood pres­sure, heart dis­ease, type 2 dia­betes and cer­tain cancers.

Too lit­tle body fat may lead to osteo­poro­sis in lat­er years, irreg­u­lar peri­ods in women and pos­si­ble infertility.

It is impor­tant to keep track of your body fat with a body fat scale. Then you can check your body fat results against the Tani­ta healthy body fat ranges. These mea­sure­ments are avail­able for every­one from age five to 99 years.

Visceral Fat

Vis­cer­al fat is locat­ed deep in the core abdom­i­nal area, sur­round­ing and pro­tect­ing the vital organs.

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 abdom­i­nal area. Ensur­ing you have a healthy lev­el of vis­cer­al fat direct­ly reduces the risk of cer­tain dis­eases such as heart dis­ease, high blood pres­sure and may delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Mea­sur­ing your vis­cer­al fat with a body fat scale helps you keep track of poten­tial prob­lems and test the effec­tive­ness of your diet or training.

Muscle Mass

The pre­dict­ed weight of mus­cle in your body.

Mus­cle mass includes the skele­tal mus­cles, smooth mus­cles such as car­diac and diges­tive mus­cles and the water con­tained in these mus­cles. Mus­cles act as an engine in con­sum­ing energy.

As your mus­cle mass increas­es, the rate at which you burn ener­gy (calo­ries) increas­es which accel­er­ates your basal meta­bol­ic rate (BMR) and helps you reduce excess body fat lev­els and lose weight in a healthy way.
If you are exer­cis­ing hard your mus­cle mass will increase and may increase your total body weight too. That’s why it’s impor­tant to mon­i­tor your mea­sure­ments reg­u­lar­ly to see the impact of your train­ing pro­gram on your mus­cle mass.

Total Body Water

Total Body Water is the total amount of flu­id in the body expressed as a per­cent­age of total weight.

Body water is an essen­tial part of stay­ing healthy. Over half the body con­sists of water. It reg­u­lates body tem­per­a­ture and helps elim­i­nate waste. You lose water con­tin­u­ous­ly through urine, sweat and breath­ing, so it’s impor­tant to keep replac­ing it.

The amount of flu­id need­ed every day varies from per­son to per­son and is affect­ed by cli­mat­ic con­di­tions and how much phys­i­cal activ­i­ty you under­take. Being well hydrat­ed helps con­cen­tra­tion lev­els, sports per­for­mance and gen­er­al wellbeing.

Experts rec­om­mend that you should drink at least two litres of flu­id each day, prefer­ably water or oth­er low calo­rie drinks. If you are train­ing, it’s impor­tant to increase your flu­id intake to ensure peak per­for­mance at all times.

The aver­age TBW% ranges for a healthy per­son are:
Female 45 to 60%
Male 50 to 65%

Bone Mass

The pre­dict­ed weight of bone min­er­al in your body.

While your bone mass is unlike­ly to under­go notice­able changes in the short term, it’s impor­tant to main­tain healthy bones by hav­ing a bal­anced diet rich in cal­ci­um and by doing plen­ty of weight-bear­ing exercise.
You should track your bone mass over time and look for any long term changes.

Physique Rating

Assess­es mus­cle and body fat lev­els and rates the result as one of nine body types.

As your activ­i­ty lev­el changes, the bal­ance of body fat and mus­cle mass will grad­u­al­ly change, which in affects your over­all physique. The physique rat­ing which our Body Com­po­si­tion Mon­i­tors pro­vide give you insight in what body type you cur­rent­ly have.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The dai­ly min­i­mum lev­el of ener­gy or calo­ries your body requires when at rest (includ­ing sleep­ing) in order to func­tion effectively.

Increas­ing mus­cle mass will speed up your basal meta­bol­ic rate (BMR). A per­son with a high BMR burns more calo­ries at rest than a per­son with a low BMR.

About 70% of calo­ries con­sumed every day are used for your basal metab­o­lism. Increas­ing your mus­cle mass helps raise your BMR, which increas­es the num­ber of calo­ries you burn and helps to decrease body fat levels.

Your BMR mea­sure­ment can be used as a min­i­mum base­line for a diet pro­gramme. Addi­tion­al calo­ries can be includ­ed depend­ing on your activ­i­ty lev­el. The more active you are the more calo­ries you burn and the more mus­cle you build, so you need to ensure you con­sume enough calo­ries to keep your body fit and healthy.

As peo­ple age their meta­bol­ic rate changes. Basal metab­o­lism ris­es as a child matures and peaks at around 16 or 17, after which point it typ­i­cal­ly starts to decrease. A slow BMR will make it hard­er to lose body fat and over­all weight.

Metabolic Age

Com­pares your BMR to an aver­age for your age group.

This is cal­cu­lat­ed by com­par­ing your basal meta­bol­ic rate (BMR) to the BMR aver­age of your chrono­log­i­cal age group. If your meta­bol­ic age is high­er than your actu­al age, it’s an indi­ca­tion that you need to improve your meta­bol­ic rate. Increased exer­cise will build healthy mus­cle tis­sue, which in turn will improve your meta­bol­ic age. Stay on track by mon­i­tor­ing regularly.

Body Mass Index

A stan­dard­ised ratio of weight to height, used as a gen­er­al indi­ca­tor of health.

Your BMI can be cal­cu­lat­ed by divid­ing your weight (in kilo­grams) by the square of your height (in meters).

BMI is a good gen­er­al indi­ca­tor for pop­u­la­tion stud­ies but has seri­ous lim­i­ta­tion when assess­ing on an indi­vid­ual level.

Muscle quality

indi­cates the qual­i­ty / state of the mus­cle which changes accord­ing to fac­tors such as age and fitness.

The mus­cle qual­i­ty of young peo­ple or those who exer­cise reg­u­lar­ly are nor­mal­ly in a good state. The state of mus­cles dete­ri­o­rates in elder­ly peo­ple and those who do not get enough exer­cise. Inner scan Dual Body Com­po­si­tion Fre­quen­cy analyser RD-953, uses 2 dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies to mea­sure bio elec­tri­cal imped­ance and these results are used to eval­u­ate the mus­cle state using the mus­cle quality

DCI – Daily calory intake

An esti­mate of how many calo­ries you can con­sume with­in the next 24 hours to main­tain your cur­rent weight.

Dai­ly Calo­rie Intake (DCI) is the sum of calo­ries for basal metab­o­lism (BMR), dai­ly activ­i­ty metab­o­lism (activ­i­ties includ­ing dai­ly house­hold chores), and diet-induced ther­mo­ge­n­e­sis (ener­gy used in con­nec­tion with diges­tion, absorp­tion, metab­o­lism, and oth­er eat­ing activ­i­ties). Use this as a guide­line in your dai­ly meal plan­ning. Con­sum­ing few­er calo­ries that your pre­dict­ed DCI val­ue will help you lose weight, be sure to main­tain a good phys­i­cal activ­i­ty so you do not lose mus­cle mass.

Muscle quality score

The mus­cle mass is assessed for per­sons 18 years and older.

Mus­cle mass is judged by cal­cu­lat­ing the amount of mus­cle mass against the per­sons height and then the amount is clas­si­fied. The RD-953 dis­plays the mus­cle mass judge­ment as a mus­cle score. The larg­er the num­ber, the more mus­cle mass a per­son has.

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