This article explores the advanced features unique to the Body Scan health station. To learn more about the basics of body composition and BIA, please see our companion article.
What is Segmental Body Composition?
With the Body Scan, Withings has introduced a new and improved body composition measurement technology. Segmental body composition includes more in-depth fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass, and water percentage metrics. With the aid of the additional electrodes in the provided handle, Body Scan can provide detailed body composition measurements for more specific areas of the body (torso, arms and legs). With segmental body composition, you will be able to see, as an example, the fat percentage and total muscle mass of your left arm and right arm independently. This level of detail is a step up from traditional body composition measurement, which provides a general overview of whole body composition.
Visualizing how each of these components is distributed throughout your body can help you better understand your overall health and fitness. It allows you to target imbalances, so you can then improve them.
Fat plays an important role in the body, as it helps regulate temperature, store energy, and is important for managing hormones. However, too much fat can be linked to health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Having too little fat, on the other hand, may also be linked to some health issues including low bone density or fertility issues.
Muscle mass refers to the weight of muscles in your body. Muscles act like the engines of our body, as they support our metabolism and affect our overall health, vital functions, and fitness ability.
Percentage of body water is the total amount of fluid in your body. With segmental body composition, both intracellular and extracellular water (water inside and outside of the cells) are taken into account when your total body water percentage is measured.
How is Segmental Body Composition measured?
The scale uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), a simple and non-invasive method, to measure segmental body composition. A small, safe current that is undetectable to the user is introduced to the body and the resulting voltage is measured thanks to 8 electrodes: 4 located in the glass plate, and 4 located in the handle.
A higher body fat percentage will create more resistance against the electrical current. By measuring the resistance of the different types of body tissues to the flow of this current, the scale can estimate the body composition of the user.
How is Segmental Body Composition different from standard BIA body composition?
Segmental body composition is more accurate than regular body composition (without handle), as the current traveling through the body will go from hands to feet (with handle) instead of traveling through the lower body only (without handle).
If you want to learn more about BIA and how it measures body composition, please follow this link.
How should I weigh myself to get accurate segmental body composition measurements?
- Hold the handle with both hands and ensure each hand is holding the correct side marked L (Left) and R (Right).
- Place your thumbs on each of the top electrodes.
- Step on the scale barefoot and stand still.
Important: Segmental body composition measurements require the handle.
For more detailed information on the best practices for taking a segmental body composition measurement, please see our dedicated article.
- The electrical current used for body composition measurements is a very low voltage that is considered safe for general use; however, it is recommended that pregnant people should not use this device or should disable this feature in the app.
- People with pacemakers, ICDs, or other implanted electronic devices must not use this function.