- Smart scales have grown more popular since about 2015, when they started taking more detailed body measurements.
- Smart scales use sensors and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to measure body composition.
- Reasons to avoid a smart scale include expensive cost, low accuracy in consumer-based models, confusing setup, extra steps in the weighing process, added in-app costs, BIA and CIED device incompatibility, and the emotional impact of seeing the weight number.
- Alternatives to the smart scale include using an analog scale, keeping a fitness journal, using a tape measure, and testing fitness levels.
Smart scales have grown more popular since about 2015, when they started taking more detailed body measurements. But just like other types of technology, smart scales have their share of drawbacks. Before delving into reasons to avoid a new smart scale today, let’s start with some background information.
Some Background on the Smart Scale
2009 saw the beginnings of smart scales through the Withings brand. The company released the first Wi-Fi Body Scale that measured fat mass and weight. It sent your information to platforms like Google Health or Microsoft’s HealthVault so you could monitor your progress over time.
Smart scales use sensors to capture your weight. But they also use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to measure your body’s composition detail. BIA uses your body tissues’ electrical current conductance properties to determine body fat content, protein mass, and other measurements.
Higher-quality smart scales sometimes have hand-held sensors for more detailed body composition measurements. For example, using these hand-held bars shows body fat measurements in your arms or legs compared to the amount in your torso.
With technological improvements, smart scales aim to measure body fat and water or muscle and bone mass. Additionally, newer scales since 2015 include measurements for visceral and subcutaneous fat, skeletal muscle, lean mass, and protein mass, with varying degrees of accuracy.
Reasons to Avoid a Smart Scale
Smart scales take various body measurements and help users to lose weight and keep it off. However, there are still reasons you might not want to purchase one. The following are reasons to avoid a smart scale.
1. Expensive Cost
While you can buy a smart scale for about the same price as a traditional one, it won’t have the same technology as one that costs more. Lower-priced smart scales may have limited accuracy and precision since manufacturers don’t have to disclose how they take measurements and calculations.
The results could deviate from actual values since measurement algorithms and methods remain unknown. And there isn’t much sense in purchasing a smart scale if it doesn’t do what you need it to. So, for a value add buy, you’ll need to spend more money than you might like.
2. Low Accuracy in Consumer-based Smart Scales
Health professionals use more accurate devices to measure parameters than consumer-based models. Often, they will use a smart scale that only measures one parameter, but it does so with a much higher accuracy rate than home scales.
So, while your new smart scale won’t likely have professional quality accuracy, you can still follow general measurement trends. But you shouldn’t count on it for accurate and factual body tissue content.
3. Confusing Setup
Some users may find it difficult to set up the smart scale and connect it to Wi-Fi. While many tout their ease of use, you might choose to avoid a new smart scale if you struggle with newer technologies.
Some smart scales connect to an app on your mobile phone via Bluetooth. But others connect the scale to your Wi-Fi service. A Wi-Fi connection lets you send measurements to the scale manufacturer’s cloud. Connecting to a cellular service is easiest, but usually only available in professional models.
4. Using the Smart Scale
Some health apps require the user to start the weighing process from their phone. Generally, you open the app, start the weighing, then step on the scale.
- Features measurement of sixteen different body metrics
- Accuracy: 0.1lb/50g
- App support included
- Supports multiple profiles
But you must stand still longer if you also want to measure body composition. So, accidentally stepping off or moving around too much can result in missing data or measurement errors.
While it’s not a huge dealbreaker, the extra steps might present a hurdle or create frustration for users. And when you’re taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle, any burdens can detract from your motivation.
5. Added In-App Costs
Some health and fitness apps are free to use in conjunction with a smart scale, but they often have additional in-app costs. When you want to delve into macros of your eating compared to the measurements from your smart scale, you often have to pay for more app access.
If spending more money makes you sweat, you should avoid a new smart scale.
6. BIA and CIED Device Incompatibility
Let’s start by saying you should rely on your doctor’s advice for your personal health and safety. However, some studies show that devices with bioimpedance technology, like smart scales, aren’t compatible with people who have cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs).
The smart scale may cause interference with CIEDs, so you should always consult your physician before purchasing one.
7. Weight Number and Emotions
Another reason to avoid a new smart scale is the emotional nature of seeing that number on a scale. Some people are better off using other health factors beyond weight because that number may affect your body image and how you see yourself overall.
Alternatives to the Smart Scale
If you want to avoid a new smart scale, here are some viable options for continuing a healthy lifestyle.
A conventional analog scale with an easy-to-read large rotating dial is an excellent alternative to avoid a new smart scale. They measure weight accurately, with no need for batteries or electricity.
So, if you just want to know your weight without a bunch of bells and whistles, this traditional scale is ideal for keeping you on track with fitness goals.
- 66 large dual-entry pages
- Lets you log every calorie plus your entire daily workout
- Includes guidelines that show you what exercises target what muscle groups
Health and fitness journals let you track daily workouts and nutrition. When you keep close tabs on your health, you’re more likely to stay focused on your goals.
Easily share progress with your doctor by taking the journal to your next appointment. And see your results on paper and in the way your clothes fit.
Use a Tape Measure
Track your body numbers the old-fashioned way with a tape measure. It provides an accurate way to see if you’ve slimmed down with weight loss or bulked up with strength training. Plus, you can write the numbers in your fitness journal to see your progress.
It’s easy to get depressed by numbers on a scale, but measuring inches lost can encourage you to press on. Use a low-tech tape measure. Or try a smart one to keep track on your phone.
Test Fitness Levels
- Designed as an all-in-one fitness equipment
- Workout bar crafted with three-section steel sticks
- Varying resistance: 30, 50, 80 pounds
You can measure your health progress by testing your fitness levels. For example, are you running faster, lifting more weight, or holding a longer plank? As you get stronger and faster, it matters less what a number on the scale says.
Too often, we let the scale define us when our fitness is a better indicator of health and wellness. If you feel more comfortable doing pilates this month than last, isn’t that a more accurate indication that you’re on the right track?
Here’s another area where the fitness journal comes in handy: test your fitness levels and track your progress easily while using a flex band kit for full-body strengthening and shaping.
Wrapping Up: Reasons to Avoid a New Smart Scale Today
Knowing the reasons to avoid a new smart scale helps you make smarter buying decisions. It may also help you stay motivated to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Smart scales aren’t always accurate. In fact, sometimes, they’re confusing to set up and use. Instead of a smart scale, consider purchasing a fitness journal, testing your fitness, and measuring your progress.
|Reason to Avoid a New Smart Scale|
|Low Accuracy in Consumer-based Smart Scales|
|Using the Smart Scale|
|Added In-App Costs|
|BIA and CIED Device Incompatibility|
|Weight Number and Emotions|
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