How Accurate are Bathroom Scales?

Bathroom ScaleWhen it comes to losing our weight, bathroom scales help a lot in measuring the amount of weight we have lost or need to gained, depending on the individual using it. A lot of people own bathroom scales. And they often weight themselves regardless of them following a workout plan or a diet. But why do we trust them? Do we really know the accuracy these scales provide us with? They are machines after all and the mechanism could be faulty without a person knowing about it. That’s why it is better to understand how accurate bathroom scales really are.

One of the biggest determining factors of the accuracy of bathroom scales is the manufacturer. Of course using a poor quality bathroom scale isn’t going to provide you with accurate results. Keep in mind that each bathroom scale has exceptions and errors when providing readings to the user.

The errors are:

Calibration error

This is the error which causes the scale to show inaccurate measurements due to the unbalanced placement of the scale. The % of error depends on how wrongly the machine has been placed. Make sure that the scale is on a flat and even surface before using it to decrease such an error.

Scaling error

This is the error which is rated as the top error in bathroom scale. The bathroom scale cannot always measure your weight accurately. It can have scaling errors very often, which can vary from 1% – 10%.

How can you negatively affect the accurate measurements of Bathroom Scales?

Not only the bathroom scales but we can also affect the measurements we get. Some of the reasons for inaccurate measurements include:

Accurate Scale

Standing in different ways

When measuring on a bathroom scale our standing position matters a lot. Both feet need to be firm on the scale. Extra pressure should not be applied. The weight of the body should be evenly distributed on both feet. Moving also leads to inaccurate readings.

Using different Floor locations

It is recommended that a person should not move the scale around. It should remain in one location. Measuring your weight by placing the scale on different kind of floors can lead to inaccurate results.

How the errors are compensated by the machine?

Though the machine can come up with inaccurate measurements due to such errors it has functions to compensate for them. Those functions are provided below.

Imprecision tolerance

Every scale company which manufactures bathroom scales provides a tolerance for imprecision in their bathroom scales.

The illusion of precision

When the machine seems to face any of the above mentioned errors, it uses its memory function for compensating those errors. What that function does is that it picks up the previous reading it had taken before the last one. It checks the error percentage tolerance for that, and then displays the last reading it took.

EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale

These are the two ways how bathroom scales compensate for the errors they can get while measuring readings for an individual.

While errors are compensated for they can still turn out to be inaccurate. However, using a good quality bathroom scale will lessen the room for inaccuracies.

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Article by: Wes Tyson

Wes writes health and fitness articles for BodyFatLoss. He is very detailed and always tries to find the latest research and facts about a subject.