This Device Makes Measuring BMI A Much Quicker Process
Albeit a few kinks, the new body mass index tool lets you get your range at the click of a button.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Move over, calories burned and steps taken—a new wearable on the market makes tracking body fat, muscle mass, body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI) as easy a finger tap.
The InBodyBand ($180, Amazon.com), revealed at the CES 2015, has made its way to consumers’ wrists this fall. It looks like your typical fitness tracker, measuring distance, calories, steps—and even has an app to track your movement. But what the InBodyBand also brings is a data analysis tool, measuring body composition to help gauge your fitness and health levels.
How does it work? The InBodyBAND measures fat, muscle mass and body-fat percentage using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) and electrocardiography (ECG) to measure heart rate.
For a proper review, I had two professional body composition tests done the day before I tested out the device so I could confirm if the device was accurate or not. One was by the InBody Body Composition Analyzer and the other was the pinch test.
I also wore two other fitness trackers to compare activity tracking for 30 days.
I took my InBodyBand out of the neatly packaged box and opened up the single-page directions. With little detail, I assumed it would be easy to set up. After about 30 minutes of downloading the app, pairing with blue tooth and doing the initial body sync test, I was finally ready to track my measurements and activity.
Note: My first device didn’t sync up properly; the customer support and YouTube videos were extremely helpful, but I still had issues. After receiving my new device, I had no issues.
I plugged in my weight as directed, used my fingertips to get the body composition analysis and checked my heart rate.
The app offers a nice feature to help you understand if you’re in a healthy range, too low or high, based on the data you enter. It explains briefly where you sit and what should be ideal. I went online for a more thorough explanation.
Right away it started tracking my heart rate, steps, distance and calories burned, which was pretty accurate. (All devices were within 10 steps, 15 calories and .10 mileage.)
When I went to do another body composition test on the band, it said I had 4 percent body fat. That is completely wrong. I did it again and the number jumped up to 33 percent. I did it one more time and finally got a number that was close to what my other tests stated. Every Monday morning I did my body composition test to monitor my progress. Some days I got try again, which meant I probably wasn’t standing in the right posture. Some days I had to do the test twice to get a more accurate number. While it’s great to have this handy device, it was confusing why the number fluctuated on the first few tries.
Another feature that was a bit frustrating for me was the activity selection. If I did a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I was unable to plug this into my activity log. Basic activities were listed (like running) but the intensity levels were off and distances were slightly off.
However, having the InBodyBand has taught me to track my health in a different manner. Instead of looking at activities, calories and weight, I can actually look further into my muscle mass and fat, which is why this device is really neat.
Besides having an easy insight on body composition, the InBodyBand monitors your sleep. This was accurate, again compared with other sleep trackers. What’s interesting is every Thursday night I got the most hours in my deep sleep (REM) stage. I’ve never been aware of my sleep patterns, but as I was able to review my sleep, I noticed a change in my workouts and runs.
The heart rate is monitored through ECK electrodes, and accurate compared with the other two devices. My favorite thing to do with the InBodyBand is to wake up and check my resting heart rate ASAP. This has always been so hard for me to do when monitoring my heart rate.
While the body composition is a bit inconsistent, the InBodyBand is overall a good wearable. The technical kinks can be worked out in maybe newer models. It’s a sporty look, so if you don’t mind wearing a sporty-inspired bracelet, then you’re fine. Every wearable has its pros and cons. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this an 8.5.