When it comes to using a Bioelectrical Impedance scale for the first time, a lot of the results may seem confusing. That’s why we’ve set out to explain each measurement in-depth, to help you understand your measurements.
This week we spoke to Paul Lloyd Davies, a successful teacher and professional coach, from PLD Academy (Performance Lead Development) about the Health Score.
In the video below, Paul thoroughly explains what the Health Score measurement means, and why it’s important that you look at it.
What Is the Health Score?
A Health Score is one of the many readings provided by a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scale. After the BIA scale has recorded the different values inputted, it analyses the measurements to calculate an overall score - this is the Health Score.
Inputs such as Skeletal Muscle Mass (SMM) and Body Fat Mass (BFM) are key factors used when calculating someone’s overall health position. If someone has a low SMM and a high BFM - especially a high Visceral Fat Level (VFA) - then this person may be in a position where they’re prone to health issues.
The Health Score uses Skeletal Muscle Mass (SMM) as an input as this is a sign of how strong we are and actually fluctuates. Smooth and cardiac muscles are part of your overall muscle, but they are not easily measured. Visceral Fat is something of great concern, as it’s the fat that surrounds the internal organs.
It’s important that people are aware that although they may not be obviously fat in how they look. This is sometimes referred to as being skinny fat and, if someone has a high VFA (above 10) , this can be dangerous and it’s important to lower this for health reasons. A high VFA can raise blood pressure quickly and carrying excess visceral fat increases your risk for developing long-term, life-threatening medical conditions.
What is BIA?
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis estimates body composition by passing a weak electrical current through the body. The speed of which the current then flows determines the levels of fat, water, and muscle content.
What Is a Good Health Score?
Clearly this score is comparative as an algorithm is used to calculate this, however it helps users to understand if they’re in good shape. A recommended score is between 70-80, however some athletes can score as high as 90 and even above. Although this is very rare and will usually just be power athletes, such as a lifter or a strong wrestler.
But Health Score can also act as a safeguard. If someone has a low score - below 60 - then this is very concerning and should be considered a warning about their health.
How Can I Improve My Health Score?
It’s vital that people are aware that being stronger and also developing functional power is important in any training program. The benefit of using a BIA scale is that everyone can see the progress they’re making and identify where they’re improving. One of the things Paul notes is that working out and training does not come with a “one-size-fits-all approach”. Anyone can find articles on the internet proclaiming “do this activity to lose weight”, but these are not ideal for everyone who reads them.
That’s why Paul recommends that, when considering your Health Score and how to improve it, it’s important to consider your population group.
If you’re in prime health, then it’s relatively simple to become more active, to eat a little less or eat more healthily and to move more. But as we get older, one of the things that happens is that we lose muscle and it’s vital that when you’re losing weight through training you don’t lose too much muscle. This can lead to further problems, as falls and balance are linked to someone’s strength and muscle power, after all.
How Can I Find Out My Health Score?
Health Score is one of the 41 measurements provided by our newest body composition analyser, the MA601 BIA Scale. The MA601 provides a complete image of health with its wide range of measurements and helps users to identify where they need to improve immediately.
This comprehensive body composition scale can be ordered today from the Marsden website or by speaking to a member of our sales team on +44 (0) 1709 364296.
If you’re looking to understand your body composition measurements, take a look at our blog post Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis: Understanding your measurements.
The words Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) are thrown around a lot in the fitness industry, but what do they really mean? This blog post answers the question, What is Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis?
Paul also completed another video with us about body fat and muscle. In this video he explains what the 'D' shape is and why we should aim for this shape.