Body Fat testing

So I was at the gym today and was going to test myself for bodyfat. They have this portable device that you hold on to and it sends a small electrical signal through your body to figure out your body fat. Anyway, I decided not to use it because I wasn't sure if it would interact with my ICD. Has anyone used one of these before with an ICD?


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by auntiesamm - 2007-05-27 02:05:05

Hi Kyle - Several weeks I joined a gym and the portable device was used routinely in evaluating people. I did tell the person doing my intake I had a pacemaker; when she got the device out I asked whether it was safe to use. She said she thought it was. I noticed on the back there was a lot of text and asked her to turn the machine over and read it. Very straight forward: Do not use on patients with pacemakers or other cardiac devices! So, I say be absolutely certain before you allow them to use it on you. Don't take a chance - be safe.


by hooimom - 2007-05-27 02:05:48

Great question Kyle. There are things I just never think of and probably would have used the thing without a second thought! Thanks Smitty for coming up with the information we all need.


Body Fat Testing

by gaby - 2007-05-27 03:05:30

I have a body Fat scale and use it all the time. have used it now for about 2 years and have never had a problem. I also have a fitness assessment at the gym every 3 months and use the device that you hold adn never had a problem with that either. The one at the gym who does the assessments is a former cardiac rn and knows i have a pacer and said it is perfectly safe to use.

I use what ever I want and then if it bothers me (or the pacer) then I reconcider.

Body Fat Testing & Pacemaker

by SMITTY - 2007-05-27 12:05:52

Hi Kyle,

I have never tried using one of these devices by I have often wondered how they worked After you posted your queston I went looking for information. Below is what I found on the effect of the device on a pacemaker. I know you said you have an ICD, but I woud be leary of one just the same. Maybe even more so becasue if you were to need the defib unit while a body fat measuring evice had it out of kilter, I would think you could be in deep trouble. Anyway here is wha ti ofund for whatever good it may do.

Q: "How do Body Fat Measuring Devices Work?"
This is what one manufacturer of these devices has to say.

A: Tanita's patented "foot pad" design sends a low, safe electrical current through the body to measure its composition. The electrical current passes more easily through lean muscle than fat. Body composition is calculated mathematically, based upon the speed at which the signal passes through the body. Modeled after monitors Tanita developed for the medical and fitness industries in 1992, the TBF/BF Series use the same revolutionary method of measuring bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) that give you a fast, easy, less intrusive, safe, and accurate way of measuring your body fat. BIA measures the impedance or resistance to the signal as it travels through the water that is found in muscle. The more muscle or lean tissue (muscles consists mostly of water) a person has, the more water their body contains. The greater the amount of water in a person's body, the easier it is for the current to pass through it. As simple and easy as stepping on a traditional scale, it gives you an accurate reading of both weight and body fat within 30 seconds. We have a comparison chart that shows how BIA technology compares with other methods in terms of time required to determine body fat, accuracy, convenience and simplicity.

Q: "Are there people who should NOT USE the Tanita BIA body fat scales?"

A: Yes.

People with pacemakers other internal medical devices should NOT use scales using BIA technology.

People taking heart medication or diuretics.

Pregnant women who experience excessive water retention will have skewed readings although there is no danger involved.



by valerie - 2007-05-28 05:05:11

If you want to be extra safe, there's another alternative to body fat testing.....
It's called the "Wave Test". Just poke your stomach a bit with your hand, and if you skin keeps undulating up and down over 20 seconds, then its time to hit the gym. lol! jk.
Anyway, I'm glad you are feeling up to exercising. Great advice above. Please keep us posted on how its going with recovery and such.
take care,


by valerie - 2007-05-28 05:05:42

I meant to say,
"and if YOUR skin keep undulating...."

no "and if YOU skin..."

sorry, that bugged me. lol

Body Fat Testing

by lady4law - 2007-05-28 12:05:20

Make sure you check any scale you buy for home. I recently purchased a new bathroom scale. WHen I got it home and removed the packing materials, I noticed a "warning" on the backside stating not to be used by anyone with a PM. Guess we need to be very careful from now on.
Good luck, Jean

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