InBody 570 Accuracy vs the Omron HBF-514 Accuracy

Body Fat Accuracy Showdown

Omron HBF-306CN
Omron HBF-306CN Body Fat Analyzer

If you’re an athlete chances are you probably own or have used a body fat analyzer such as the Omron HBF-306CN (retails for about $40) or the deluxe model HBF-514.  These devices use a technology know as Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis (or BIA for short.)   Most BIA device circulate a small electrical signal through a person’s body to measure the impedence to the electrical current.  This allows the BIA device to determine total body water (TBW).  Once the TBW is determined, the BIA device asks the user to input height and weight.  Working off assumptions and statistics[1], the machine determines a person’s body fat by factoring in that muscle cells retain lots of water (muscles are thirsty cells), while fat cells are not.  So theoretically if person A has a higher TBW than person B, but the same age, height, and weight, than we know person B has a higher fat amount.  Working off statistical tables, the machines looks up what fat percentage is given the height, weight, and total body water… viola — the machine spits out a fat percentage.

Own a Personal Training Studio or a CrossFit?  Interested in learning how the InBody has helped Sand & Steel obtain new clients and improve our programming?  Book a phone consultation with Paul and we talk about whether the InBody is a good fit for you.

Omron HBF-514
Omron HBF-514 Body Fat Analyzer

InBody 570 Technology

If it only worked so well.  You may or may not know that most consumer level BIA fat analyzers are not accurate.  [2]  Pictured on the left are two of the most commonly sold BIA fat analyzers on the home market.  We have both at Sand &  Steel, and constantly compare them against our InBody 570.  What we’ve found is that the Omron devices are reasonably accurate for individuals who are of average body fat and average muscularity.  They are incredibly inaccurate [3] for fit individuals or individuals who have 30 plus pounds to lose.  While the InBody 570 also uses Bioelectrical Impedence, it has several key differences that makes it much more accurate.

Interested in learning what Macro’s you should be eating based on your InBody Scan?  We have a free Macro Nutrient Calculator that you can use to determine your suggested macros.

The InBody uses patented technology that relies on direct measurements and can perform segmental (limbs and trunk) measurements.  It uses multiple frequencies of current to provide more accurate measurements.  And does not rely on statistical data to determine muscularity of fat percentage.  So unlike the home grade device, the InBody 570 is accurate for athletes and overweight individuals.

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Why are Tools like the InBody 570 So Important?

InBody 570 body fat scan
InBody 570 Body Fat Analyzer

For one, if you are training for a sport or competition knowing whether your current regime of fitness and diet is causing improvements in fat reduction and muscle gain is critical.  For example, Lori Rose of Onelife Fitness came to Sand & Steel Fitness after completing a vigorous training regime.  We had her perform a body fat scan on the both the Omron HBF-514 and the Inbody 570.  The difference in her results were staggering to say the least:

MeasurementInBody 570Omron HBF 5-14Measured Difference
Weight135.1135.81%
BMI21.221.20%
Fat (LBS)19.8 lbs30.96 lbs36%
Fat Percent14.6%22.8%36%
Muscle Mass (LBS)64.20 lbs47.53 lbs35%
Muscle Percent48%35%36%

Lori’s results aren’t atypical though.  Today we had a brand new client come in that hadn’t been working out in six months, here’s how her results came out:

MeasurementInBody 570Omron HBF 5-14Measured Difference
Weight133.2133.80%
BMI21.521.60%
Fat (LBS)28.4 lbs38 lbs25%
Fat Percent21.3%28.4%25%
Muscle Mass (LBS)58 lbs40 lbs42%
Muscle Percent44%31%43%

Paul Roberts InBody ReportThe InBody also measures visceral fat… a key indicator of obesity related diseases.  In addition, it also measures the ration of extracellular water / total body water, which indicates inflammation levels.  It also can detect imbalances between limbs for early detection and prevention of injuries.  The test is harmless and painless, and scan and consultation only takes 15 minutes.

References

[1] body type and ethnicity amongst others.  http://www.tanita.com/en/howbiaworks/

[2]  Peterson JT, Repovich WES, Parascand CR (2011). “Accuracy of Consumer Grade Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Devices Compared to Air Displacement Plethysmography” (PDF). Int J Exerc Sci 4 (3): 176–184

[3] To be fair, it’s worth noting that InBody 570 costs thousands of dollars and requires a lot of experience in learning how to interpret the results.  These two Omron devices cost between $40-$200… You get what you pay for.

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