How do body composition scales work?

The Marsden MBF-6000 and MBF-6010 are Class III and MDD approved body composition scales - they’re in high demand in hospitals, gyms, sports clubs and slimming clubs.

With an optional height measure and a printer that comes as standard these body fat scales provide the user with everything they could want in order to monitor a patient's physical health. So, we wanted to provide you with a one page low-down on what these scales do and how they work.



1)     How do they work?

The MBF range body composition scale helps to generate a complete picture of a patient’s profile. They were developed by Marsden and Hull York Medical School  in 2011. The body composition of a wide ranging sample of the local population provided the empirical data to calculate the  algorithm used by the scale. The research study showed the Marsden MBF body composition scales results to be significantly closer to DEXA than every other body composition scale tested (read more about this on the body composition scales homepage).

To use the scales, simply place bare feet onto the two electrode pads, undetectable electronic impulses are sent up through the feet, up the legs and throughout the abdomen. Then the current travels back to the electrode pads and the current is measured, the impedance calculated and the body composition measurements derived.

2) What do they measure?

Once the electrodes have passed through the body back to the scale a full analysis can be provided.

The body composition scale provides:

  • Basal metabolic rate - the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to maintain vital functions such as breathing and keeping warm
  • Fat free mass - refers to all of your body components except fat, which includes your body's water, bone, organs and muscle content
  • Fat mass - the total amount of fat within the body
  • Fat percentage - is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass; body fat includes essential body fat and storage body fat.
  • Total body water - is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of your total body weight
  • Height (MBF-6010, when a height measure is fitted)
  • Weight
  • BMI

This information is an essential tool for those who are wanting to control and monitor a medical condition,  track their fitness and weight loss programmes. They’re easy to use and the body composition scale can be connected to a PC via a USB port meaning that transferring data has never been easier!

3)     Why use a Marsden MBF?

The Marsden MBF is aimed at the mid range market to provide valuable information to clinicians, weight management consultants, sports clubs and gyms.

It is the most accurate of the MDD approved body composition scales available at the price level, closer to DEXA than the alternatives.

It is a small fraction of the price of its competitors, providing excellent value for money. It has also backed by robust British research and a Class III approval to medical weighing standards; the MBF range is also approved under the Medical Devices Directive (MDD).

If you need to provide patients with a comprehensive review of the health of their body, a Marsden body composition scale really is the best solution. Find out more about the range here.

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