Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (2023)

Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (1)

oMarsden Body Composition Monitorprovide a range of measurements to get a complete and even more detailed picture of the body's health.

To make sure you get the most out of your body composition scale, this blog post will help you understand the measurements the scale provides, and if you need any further help, please leave a comment orGet in touchwith our team.

What is a body composition scale?

Abody composition scaleIt is a type of scale that provides the user with an estimate of their physical health. Body composition measurements include body fat, muscle mass, protein mass, and metabolic rate. Over time, the user can see the results of their fitness or weight loss program in detail.

In addition to gyms, sports clubs and slimming clubs, hospitals also use body analysis scales because they help to accurately assess the patient's health status.

The Marsden Body Composition Monitor uses Biometric Impedance Analysis (BIA) to calculate measurements. This means that a very small, harmless electrical current flows through the body from the base of the scale. It works because electrical current flows through matter such as water, fat, and muscle at different rates, allowing the scale to calculate the volume of each item in the body based on the speed of the electrical current.

In times of rising obesity, knowing body composition can help patients or gym members stay fit.

How accurate are body composition scales?

Marsden body composition monitors are Class III approved, which means they can legally be used in hospitals for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment.

The NHS uses DEXA scanners, a special type of X-ray specifically designed to identify low bone mineral density. Because these devices perform a full body scan, they are as accurate as possible in accurately measuring a body's composition. As such, DEXA scans are considered the "gold standard" for body composition and the benchmark by which Marsden judges body composition scales.

A BBC One Show test revealed bathroom scale inaccuracies of up to 30%; however, Marsden's MBF scales are within 3% of DEXA. The closest competitor tested by Marsden during the development of the MBF-6000 and MBF-6010 was within 7% of DEXA.

What do the body composition scale readings mean?

The most common readings on body composition scales are BMI, body fat percentage, total body water, basal metabolic rate, fat mass, and fat-free mass. At Marsden, our body composition range offers a total of 40 metrics, which we will cover in detail in this guide.

Peso Corporal Total

You do not need a body analysis scale for this measurement. However, many users still want to know how much they weigh and hope to see it on their results sheet. Also, the weighing results of high-quality body composition monitors are likely to be more accurate than those of bathroom scales.

However, it is important to note that while body weight is a good predictor of health, a measure of "heavy weight" should not be assumed to mean unhealthy. Muscle is heavier than fat, so you can weigh more after increasing your skeletal mass. No need to worry.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The BMI is the most common way to determine the overall health of the body and whether a person is overweight or underweight.

To calculate BMI, simply divide a person's weight in kilograms by square meters of height. BMI can be calculated on many scales. It is a non-invasive method of determining body weight, with links between BMI and disease. BMI scales are a popular choice for many users to better understand their body health; However, the BMI does not give any indication of the distribution of body fat.

However, muscular users are often defined as "obese" based on BMI. This is because BMI only uses weight and height and cannot differentiate between muscle and fat. For this reason, we recommend using BFP numbers.

percentinvolvebody fat (BFP)

Body fat percentage gives a good indication of the body's health, but on its own it can give a bit of a misleading picture.

Body fat percentage is the ratio of fat mass to everything else (bone, muscle, and water) and is expressed as a percentage.

(Video) MA601 Introduction

The Royal College of Nursing says that the healthy target for body fat percentage changes with age. For example, for men ages 20-39, the target body fat percentage is 8-20%; after age 60, this increases to 25%.

Total body water (TBW)

Total body water measurement shows how hydrated the body is. Water is used in the body to remove waste, support organ function, regulate body temperature, and aid in digestion.

The amount of fluid intake required varies from person to person and is affected by the weather and the amount of physical activity performed. Experts recommend that a person's consumption be at least two liters of liquid per day.

The average total body water level for men is 55-60%; in women it is 50-55%.

Intracellular water (ICW)

The water that resides in your cells is called intracellular water. This plays an important role in allowing the molecules to be transported to different organelles within the cell.

In a healthy person, intracellular water should represent two thirds of the total body water. The other third should be extracellular water (ECW).

An increase in ICW can indicate a positive change in your body composition. As muscle cells grow, they require more ICW to power their cellular functions. Increasing ICW, which contributes to an increase in lean body mass, can lead to better BMR, greater strength, and an improved immune system.

Extracellular water (ECW)

The water that is outside of cells is called extracellular water, which helps tissues work well. Nutrients are supplied to membrane-bound cells via extracellular water, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chlorides, and bicarbonates.

An increase in extracellular water can lead to obesity and swelling in the extremities. Imbalances can cause symptoms such as decreased mental alertness, nausea and dizziness, or lead to high blood pressure.

Normally, about a third of your body is made up of extracellular water.


The ICW and ECW results can be used to calculate the edema index (EI). For example, kidney disease or inflammation can result in a high EI, so this is helpful in identifying risk.

The edema index calculation is ECW/TBW. The edema index result should ideally be between 0.36 and 0.39.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns when you do absolutely nothing. It is based on the number of calories your body would need if it were to rest for 24 hours. These calories are used for vital bodily functions such as respiration, blood circulation, brain function, cell growth, and regulation of body temperature.

This allows you to calculate an exact target calorie intake for your body with much more precision than a general calculation that can be found online, allowing you to create a diet program.

A person with a high BMR burns more calories than a person with a low BMR. About 70% of the daily calories consumed are used for your basal metabolic rate. It goes hand in hand with muscle mass because the higher the muscle mass, the higher the BMR and the more calories burned.

The average woman can expect a BMR of between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day, while a man can expect a BMR of between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day.

Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)

Total power consumption is calculated for a typical day with no significant activity. However, this is not correct and should not be taken as such; Actual energy expenditure depends on a person's physical activity level (PAL) and BMR.

(Video) MBF-6010 Body Composition Scale: Tried & Tested

BodyMassa Gorda (b.VHF)

Fat mass is the total body fat mass and is useful in identifying the effectiveness of an exercise program.

Some body fat is classified as "essential fat," which is what the body needs to function and keep the organs warm. Therefore, too low a fat mass value can be dangerous.

Calories, or energy in the body, come from what we eat and drink. Physical activity burns energy, but when you spend more than you expend, the excess calories are stored in fat cells, resulting in excess body fat. Too much body fat can be detrimental to health in the long run.

Fat Free Mass (FFM)

Where body fat mass is the total mass of body fat, lean mass is everything else: including bone, muscle, and water.

Ideally, a lean mass of around 10-12% for men and 20-32% for women is ideal.

For more information on these metrics, see this whitepaper.

Visceral Fat Area (VFA) Level

Visceral fat often gets a bad rap—after all, the lean fat phenomenon is well documented. While it does have some downsides, a healthy amount of visceral fat is helpful, as it insulates and protects vital organs. Making sure you have a healthy level of visceral fat directly reduces your risk of conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.

VFA is used to determine diabetes risk along with BMI. VFA is shown as level 50, with a score of 41-50 indicating extremely high risk.

Muscular Time (MM)

It is made up of skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and the water they contain.

As muscle mass increases, the rate at which energy is burned increases, which speeds up your basal metabolic rate. An increase in muscle mass can increase total body weight because muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, it is important to monitor each aspect of the body separately using measures from body composition scales.

Skelettmuskelmasse (SMM)

Skeletal muscle is one of the three main types of muscle (along with cardiac muscle and smooth muscle). It is the most common of the three. These types of muscles are attached to the bones by tendons and create all the movements of the body parts in relation to each other.

SMM correlates with athletic performance, as it is a good indicator of muscle gains and progress. When the SMM is inadequate, the joints bear significant stress due to body weight, increasing the risk of injury.

It is also important to note that the higher the MMS, the better for the body. Therefore, a "Beyond" result should be reported on your score sheet as "Exceed" for SMM and not as "Beyond Recommended Value". In fact, we recommend training to reach the "Over" level of SMM.

Magermasse (MLS)

Soft Lean Mass excludes minerals found in bone.

The more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. A healthy percentage of lean body mass can reduce your chances of getting sick or developing health problems like heart disease or diabetes. However, low lean body mass can increase the risk of drug side effects.

This should generally be between 60% and 90% of body weight.

Bone mineral content (BM)

This keeps track of the amount of bone mineral found in the body. Higher bone density and strength are indicated by higher bone mineral content.

(Video) The Marsden MBF-6000 Body Comp Scale: Tried & Tested

Calcium is the main contributor to bone mineral content.

masa protein

Protein Mass tracks the amount of protein in the body. Lack of protein may be related to an increase in body fat. There is a relationship between protein mass and muscle mass. As you age, you need more protein due to anabolic resistance, which reduces your body's ability to break down and synthesize protein.

What percentage of your body should be protein?

Ideally, protein should make up about 12% to 20% of your total daily calories. Protein is important to keep your body healthy and working the way it should. Your body needs protein to maintain your body, grow, and produce energy.

Metabolic Age (AGE)

This is calculated by comparing your BMR to the average BMR for your age group. If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, this is a sign that you need to improve your metabolic rate.

Body Type AnalysisS(BTA)

The Body Type Analysis Chart compares a user's BMI to their body fat percentage to determine the source of their weight, which is then plotted on this graph to categorize the user's body type.

The benefit of this is that the user can see if they have hidden obesity. For example, lean fat is a person with a relatively low body weight who is mostly fat. Although they look thin on the outside, they are actually unhealthy.

Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (2)

Assessment of body balance.

The Body Balance Assessment covers the balance of your body. Imbalances in different segments of the body can increase the risk of injury or postural health problems.

This section consists of several check boxes. As expected, a user should ideally have markings on top of his pillars to show that he has a well-balanced body. However, when one part of the body is less developed than the other, it can create an imbalance.

muscle quality

Muscle quality combines variables like gender and phase angle (more on that later) to estimate grip strength. Grip strength is a general indicator of muscle quality and is useful for monitoring, evaluating, and improving fitness programs.

However, two people with muscles of the same size may not have the same muscle quality. One person can be stronger than another even though their muscles are the same size. This is because your muscles are made up of two types of tissue.

Contractile tissue contracts and generates force, while connective tissue holds the muscle together. Fat is also present in a muscle. The more contractile tissue a muscle has, the stronger it is and the higher the quality of the muscle.

A good muscle quality score depends on your age and gender; We have summarized these ideal values ​​in the following table.

Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (3)

health score

The Health Score gives you an overall score for your body, which takes into account your height, age, weight, and gender. It is calculated at 100; The higher the score, the better.

A normal health value should be between 70 and 80, any value below 60 is considered a health risk. A health score between 80 and 90 means that the user is physically active on a regular basis. Normally, only a professional athlete reaches a health value of 90+.

phase angle

The phase angle is an indicator of general health, metabolic activity and nutritional status. Basically, people with healthier body cells/muscles have a younger body age, which results in a higher phase angle.

The larger the phase angle, the healthier your body will be. Typically, a man has a larger phase angle than a woman, and the phase angle tends to decrease with age. However, as his client trains hard, the phase angle should gradually increase. If it steadily decreases, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the body.

It is important to remember that a phase angle changes from person to person, so you should compare your phase angle with your previous readings and not someone else's. In general, the phase angle range should be between 1 and 20 degrees. It is usually between 4.5 and 6.7 for men and between 4.0 and 6.0 for women, but it will decrease with age.

(Video) What do BIA scales tell you about muscle and body fat?

Below are two diagrams to help you understand phase angles. There is one for men and one for women, so make sure you are looking at the correct graph.

Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (4)
Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (5)

Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI)

The Fat Free Mass Index is used to assess a user's risk of malnutrition. For men we recommend a value greater than 16.6 kg/m2 and for women a value greater than 12.9 kg/m2. Those are the intersections.

Musculoskeletal Index (SMI)

Skeletal muscle index is the ratio of the muscles in a user's arms and legs compared to their height. It is used to assess the risk of sarcopenia, the widespread loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength with age. In older people, this has a significant impact on morbidity and disability.

Males must have a value greater than 7.5 kg/m2 to be in a healthy range. For women, the score must be greater than 5.67 kg/m2.

control leader

The Control Guide recommends the next steps a user should take and provides clear numerical targets.

The recommendations in the Control Guide are designed to meet the needs of the athletic population (or those striving for fitness), not "everyday people." As such, there may be some differences between the Tracking Guide (emphasis on fitness, higher standards) and the Muscle Fat Analysis, which uses normal ranges based on BMI and population-relevant body fat percentages. average.


The MA601 measures the impedance, reactance, and resistance of the five sections used in segmental analysis of fat and lean meat. These are Right Arm (RA), Left Arm (LA), Torso (TR), Right Leg (RL) and Left Leg (LL). 3 different frequencies are used as they have different properties when traveling through tissue.

This result is often a useful tool for troubleshooting body composition monitors. Body composition results are calculated using a combination of weight, age, height, gender, and impedance. If an input is wrong, the results are, of course, wrong.

If the readings provided by your body composition monitor seem "off," you can check to see if the impedance is also off. Strange it might be something like left and right impedance differing by more than 50 ohms.

Marsden Body Composition Monitor

Marsden has a number ofbody composition scale, some of which are approved for Class III and therefore suitable for use in hospitals.

MBF-6000:This scale offers a comprehensive assessment of body health in a portable scale. It has a capacity of 300 kg and is graduated in 100 g. They are widely used in hospitals and gyms, but are also suitable for mobile doctors, physiotherapists, nurses and personal trainers. They are portable and cover a range of the functions listed above and come with a printer.

MBF-6010:This body analysis scale is often used in hospitals, gyms, and sports clubs. It differs from the MBF-6000 in that it comes with a column and is a more permanent solution.

MA601 charger: This body composition scale is the most sophisticated body composition scale we offer. It includes most of the above measurements and uses 3 frequencies to provide accurate results.

The following table shows the measured values ​​of our body analysis scales for an in-depth comparison:

Understanding Body Composition Scale Measurements - Marsden (6)

Discover our offerMarsden Body Composition MonitorToday. If you have any questions about body composition measurements, please email our team atsales@marsdengroup.co.uk.

Outside the UK? You can order Marsden balances from one of ourinternational traders- or directly with us, by phone. Talk to our team at+44 (0) 1709 364296discover more.

keep reading

Protein mass is considered an important measure on the body composition scale,But why?

(Video) What does the Health Score measurement mean?

Body weight is often associated with physical health, but what about mental health?Learn more about the link between weight and mental health here.

BMI is a popular measure for tracking weight loss and health.But is body fat a better measure to track?


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