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Are Body Scanners the Latest Trend in Health Clubs?

Jason Scott Headshot

As we roll into 2017, gyms and health clubs around the country are preparing for an influx of people seeking to drop a few pounds as part of their New Year’s Resolution.

The goal of seeking increased physical fitness is all very well and good, but one of the main tools we use to measure our progress towards that goal is, to put it bluntly, a bit outdated.

Yes, we’re talking about the scale.

As many members of the fitness community would tell you, weight on the scale is not the bottom line when it comes to physical fitness. Since muscle is denser than fat, people with a lot of muscle can still see high numbers on the scale. Even if people understand this, it can be difficult to internalize—especially if your weight is going up. That’s where body scanners come in. 

Fat, despite being less-dense, takes up more space than muscle. That means that as a person loses fat, they decrease the overall volume of their body. Body scanners can be used to create detailed, 3D models of the body; helping people to actually see the changes exercise has on their bodies. It’s a less-abstract, more visual way to track your progress than trying to understand what the numbers on the scale represent, offering easy before-and-after comparisons and providing motivation to members who need it. It’s a growing trend in fitness clubs.

According to Bloomberg Pursuits, more clubs are using body scanning technology as a member recruitment and retention tool. One company that supplies the tech said that their products are now available at 350 locations in 25 countries.

“A measurement is just a number,” Diana Williams, founder of Fernwood Fitness in Melbourne, Austrailia told Bloomberg. “But a visual image of what they look like, rather than their imagination, is much more motivating.”

What do you think? If budget weren’t an issue, would you implement a body scanner at your club? Or, if you’re a client at a gym or health club, would you like to see your facility offer a body scanner? Let us know in the poll below.{module Body scan}

*Note: A previous version of this article stated that muscle weighs more than fat. That is incorrect. Muscle is a more dense tissue than fat, but a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same amount. We regret the error and thank the reader who pointed out the mistake.

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