Those who follow or are trying to follow their figure have bathroom scales in their home. The following fact has been established: after several days of using floor scales, their owner’s body weight decreases by an average of half a kilogram without any diets and exercises.
Floor scales are primarily designed to measure a person’s weight, but some models have the additional function of weighing large, heavy objects in a domestic environment. Usually scales are allowed to weigh loads up to 160 kg.
Modern models of floor scales are equipped with built-in electronics, which are not inferior to the level of personal computers. Such scales determine not only your weight, but also the ratio of the amount of water, fat and muscle mass, bone tissue in the body. Scales are capable of:
- Remember the dynamics of weight change over a certain period.
- Calculate the optimal weight using the BMI (Body Mass Index) Factor, taking into account height, gender, age and body constitution.
- Determine a specific person from several possible users of the scales.
- Provide personalized advice on diet and exercise.
Is it better to choose mechanical or electronic scales?
When buying bathroom scales, you first need to decide on their type: mechanical scales or electronic scales.
In mechanical balances, the main element is the measuring spring. Standing on the scales, we act on this spring, it stretches under our weight, and in turn rotates the arrow along the scale of the scale, or the scale itself, in proportion to the created gravity. Zero setting in such scales is carried out with a special wheel located at the bottom of the scales. The scale division for mechanical scales is usually 1 kg, less often 0.5 kg.
In operation, mechanical scales are less troublesome than electronic ones. They do not require replacement of power supplies. The maximum permissible load in mechanical scales is quite high.
In terms of cost, mechanical scales are an order of magnitude cheaper than electronic scales, but they are inferior in measurement accuracy and do not have additional functions.
Unlike mechanical balances, in electronic balances, the weighing result is not displayed on a measuring scale with numbers, but is displayed using a digital display. Readings in electronic scales also have a certain division value. Discreteness of indications in different models of scales can vary from 0.1 to 0.5 kg. The principle of weighing in electronic scales can be different, depending on whether there are metal parts in them and which ones.
The very first electronic scales did not differ in any way from mechanical scales. They had the same measuring spring, only the weighing result was displayed on a digital display. More sophisticated electronic scales have two metal discs in their construction, forming something like an electrical capacitor. At the slightest impact on the scales, the plates move apart, the electric charge between the plates changes, and this in turn affects the weight readings. At the same time, the use of mechanical elements is minimized, which increases the reliability and durability of the scale design.
Finally, the most advanced scale models use a voltage sensor. A voltage sensor is a thin metal wire through which an electric current is passed. Under the influence of weight, tension of the voltage sensor occurs, the electrical signal passing through the wire changes, and the readings of the measured weight on the digital display change accordingly. In scales with such a design, mechanical elements are completely absent, all measurements are carried out only with the help of electronics.
For the operation of electronic scales, batteries with a voltage of 1.5 V or 9 V are usually used. But some models of scales operate on solar panels or energy accumulated from mechanical stress on the scales. Almost all electronic scales automatically turn on and off. Zero setting in electronic scales is carried out automatically when they are turned on or using a special button on the case. Thanks to its intelligent filling, electronic scales have many additional functions.
Weighing uncertainty and maximum permissible weight
All balances have a specific measuring range. This range is limited by the maximum permissible weight.
On average, this threshold of restrictions is 160 kg, but it can fluctuate in different models from different manufacturers from 100 to 220 kg, which is much more than the weight of an ordinary user.
But if you or someone in your family is large and heavy, you should select a scale model with a higher maximum load capacity.
Any measuring device has a measurement error. Therefore, when choosing a scale, you should pay attention to the scale error declared by the manufacturer. Cheap mechanical scales have a very large error up to 0.5 – 1 kg. More expensive electronic scales have an error of 100 – 300 grams.
If you really want to know your weight with an accuracy of grams, choose more expensive models of floor scales with the smallest error.
Scale memory capacity
When choosing the scale model you need, consider the memory size or the number of users. Modern models of floor scales are able to memorize from 2 to 10 users, whose weight measurements will be recorded in memory. The balance traces the dynamics of measuring weight in a person, and shows the results of previous weighings.
Some models of scales are able to automatically identify a person from several users. Therefore, you need to consider how many people in your family will constantly use weights.
If the family is large, and everyone in it is actively monitoring their weight, it is better to buy a scale with a large memory capacity. If you are the only user of your scale, then you do not need to overpay for a model designed for 10 people.
Availability of additional functions
Thanks to the integrated electronics, modern balances have many additional functions. All of these add-ons are marketing gimmicks from manufacturers to better sell the scale. But these additions primarily affect the increase in the cost of the scales, and not their effectiveness in measuring the weight of a person. Therefore, when choosing scales, think about the need for those additional functions that are included in expensive models of scales. Often, having tried these functions for the first time after purchasing the scales, a person forgets about them due to their uselessness.
1. One of the innovations of modern scales is considered to be the calculation of the BMI body mass index (BMI). Before using this function, you must enter your height, age, gender and several other parameters into the memory of the scale. Body mass index is calculated using a complex formula, but the main calculation is:
BMI = person’s weight (kilograms) / height (meters) * height (meters).
If your scale does not have this function, you do not need to change it. Using this formula, you can do it yourself.
2. Another function, for the sake of which many have thrown away their old scales, in order to buy new ones with such a function, is to determine the ratio of fat and muscle mass in the human body. This function is realized by passing a small discharge of electric current through the human body, from the electrodes located on the platform of the scales. Muscle, bone, and adipose tissue have different electrical resistance. Due to this, it is possible to approximately (with a very large margin of error) determine their ratio and mass fraction in the human body.
3. The scale automatically identifies a person from several users at constant weighing.
4. The function of monitoring the weight, notifies the user of significant changes in his weight with a sound signal.
5. Some models are equipped with a wireless monitor so that a person does not have to bend over and try to see his exact weight.
6. Modern electronic scales automatically turn on and off when used.
Modern models of floor scales are made from a wide variety of materials: metal, plastic, glass, wood and many others. The most widespread are models from a combination of glass with plastic or glass with metal.
Scales made of plastic are very popular, they are cheap and easy to use. Recently, glass scales have become widespread, but they need careful care and handling, and require some patience from the owner in their operation. Very practical glass models with rubberized footrests for better stability.
There are more expensive models of floor scales with wooden elements, they are aesthetically pleasing, pleasant to use, since wood is a warm material and pleasant to touch.
Tips for choosing a bathroom scale:
- When choosing electronic scales, first of all, you need to pay attention to the measurement system used in the scales. Many Western-made scales (USA, UK) measure a person’s weight not in the usual kilograms, but in pounds. Make sure that the balance is capable of switching to metric measurement.
- In the event that you plan to install your scale in a bathroom or sauna, you should choose a scale model in a waterproof case.
- The balance should have a grooved or rough surface of the platform for better stability. There are models of floor scales with a platform that follows the shape of the feet (anatomical plateau).
- The balance must be stable and have mechanisms in place to level the balance on uneven floors.
- Floor scales made in a metal case will be reliable and most durable. You should not save on scales and buy a model made in its base on plastic. Plastic is a fragile material, short-lived, can deform over time and lose its original shape.
- It is better to check their accuracy when buying scales. It is good if you know your true weight and, weighing yourself on the scales, make sure they are working correctly. You can ask the sellers in the store to compare the readings of the purchased scales with other scales (preferably a different model and another manufacturer). If your weight is the same on different scales, you can safely buy scales. If it is not possible to measure your weight, you should come to the store with a prepackaged product, which indicates the weight. Place the item on the scale and compare the reading with the true weight.
- To check the accuracy of a mechanical balance, press the balance with force and release it sharply, after which the arrow should quickly and accurately zero to zero.
- If you are purchasing a scale for a visually impaired person, choose special models with a large digital display and a red dial.
- The bathroom scale must be installed on a solid and level floor. If the balance is installed on a thick, fleecy carpet, or the floor has a slight slope or curvature, the balance measurement error will fluctuate within 10%.
- In order to avoid damage or breakage of the balance, under no circumstances should it be overloaded.
- Electronic scales can be affected and thereby disrupt their operation by electromagnetic radiation from nearby radio equipment and powerful electrical appliances. Therefore, you should take into account the location of the scale in the room in relation to all electrical appliances. If the balance malfunctions, turn it off and turn on the balance again after waiting a few minutes.
- Do not step on the scale with wet feet, socks, tights or stockings. Slippery feet can cause you to stumble or slip on the scale.
- For weighing, stand on the scale evenly (vertically), do not bend over, take a stable position (do not move, do not shift from foot to foot), as the scale is sensitive to all vibrations, which leads to measurement disturbance and distortion of the correctness of your weight.
- Use a simple damp cloth to clean the balance. It is best to use plain water without chemical cleaning agents. Aggressive environment can remove drawing or even paint from the body of the balance.