Keeping track of your stats is a really useful way to monitor your progress. It’s not a substitute to, you know, actually getting more active, but the data it provides can make your activities that much more productive.
So what, in my professional opinion, should you track? There are two major things I would pay attention to:
Your body fat levels
Your heart rate
Surprised that your weight isn’t in there? The reason is – scale weight is really not useful. If you’re six foot tall and athletic, weighing 70kg is different to someone who is five foot tall and sedentary.
BMI is a very crude measurement. Useful, if you have nothing else, but not that useful, if you track other data.
So in my gadget laden household, we decided to give the Withings Smart Body Analyser (Analyzer for my American readers) a whirl.
This doesn’t look like your typical bathroom scales. Sleek glass surface, rounded corners, super thin design – it’s something you want to show off and I keep stepping on for fun 🙂
Basically, it looks great! Is it necessary to be so designed? Not really but it fits into the high-tech lifestyle product group it’s aimed at.
The design extends to the utility. Once you do the technical setup, connect the app to your scales, all you need to do is jump on and it recognises you and does all the work. It measures your weight, body fat levels and heart rate.
Now, the setup was a bit of a faff. The scales should be able to recognise multiple users on multiple devices and keep separate profiles on each of them but we couldn’t get it to work properly, ended up with two users on one device.
All your data goes through the Withings app, which can share the data with other services like Apple Health, Google Fit. This worked and was very useful!
Unfortunately, I found that the scales were not measuring my data very well. My weight would fluctuate from one minute to the next, and no, I didn’t have any chocolate in between 🙂 and more worryingly, the same would happen to my heart rate and fat levels.
Discrepancies in weight and fat level isn’t too important but having inaccurate heart rate could be dangerous, if you rely on it to calculate your training zones.
Would I recommend? I’m undecided. It’s a great looking device and being connected to other services makes it very useful, but the inaccuracies I encountered with my unit meant I returned it. If it would work perfectly, I’d definitely have one.