Evolution of the bathroom scale
Remember the old bathroom scales with their big needle indicators? Analog scales have gone the way of dial-up Internet connections and land lines. Now considered antiques, those scales have been replaced with newer, fancier digital bathroom scales (although the analogs make cool collectibles) that can double as your own personal trainer.
Today's bathroom scales do everything from display your weight to analyze your body fat, body water percentages, track your daily caloric intake and display trend curves for fat, water, muscle or consumed calories - and nearly everything in between.
To determine your body fat, the scale emits a small electric current (referred to scientifically as bioelectrical impedance analysis) through your body to measure its density. Electricity reacts differently to muscle than fat, and the scale analyzes this for estimated body-fat percentage by testing the resistance to the current.
Fitness experts say measuring your body fat is a more effective way to monitor results than weighing yourself because muscle weighs more than fat.
Some modern-day bathroom scales also measure your body water percentage. Hydration is key to overall health so having an idea of your water weight is helpful when trying to maintain a healthy balance between body fat and body water percentages.
Scales that track your statistics - daily caloric intake, weight, fat, muscle mass - are popular with health nuts. These scales have a built-in memory feature, some for up to 12 participants, that stores all this vital information so that you can track your levels.
The bathroom scale, although functional, has evolved into a design accessory. Sleek scale designs run the gamut from razor-thin, stainless steel models to glass and matted versions with oversized platforms, depending on your needs.
A quality bathroom scale does not have to be expensive. Prices vary depending on the brand and additional bells and whistles. Most digital bathroom scales range anywhere from $35 to $100.