Originally Posted by wevie
How accurate are the ones that are electronic and you hold out in front of you? It asks for your height, age, and weight and then hold it out in front of you.
Highly inaccurate. Calipers can provide much more reasonable accuracy, though are not perfect.
I was in health care for 5 years and had to use the handhelds on patients 100's of times. The heavier you got, the more it underestimated fat percentage.
For example...I tested a woman who weight 300 pounds. Her percentage came back as 35% bodyfat. This would have meant that she had as much muscle mass as some IFBB pros.
The readings always seemed to be under by at least 5%, if not more.
While they do check impedance, they run a calculation based on your other stats so you are actually getting a calculation based on average stats.
If you have any muscle mass at all though, it will start to swing in the opposite direction calling you fat.
Anyway, a caliper, though not perfect, can accurately gauge the skinfold thickness which in general provides a more reasonable calculation.