ISIM Final Project

Body-fat Calculator using Bio-electrical
Impedance
Christopher Beck
David Abrahams
December 18, 2014
Instructors:

Brian Storey
Brad Minch

Contents
1 Introduction

2

2 The Circuit

2

3 Current Pump Analysis

3

4 Receiver Circuit Analysis

5

5 Calculating Body Fat Percentage
5.1 Test Subject 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 Test Subject 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6
7
8

6 Conclusion

8

1

1

Introduction

For our final project we decided to make a body fat percentage tester using the
bio-electrical impedance method. We ran a fixed current through the body and
then measured the voltage difference across them in order to determine their
body’s impedance. By inputting these numbers into an equation based on other
research we are able to calculate the body fat percentage of the individual.

2

The Circuit

Figure 1: The entire circuit schematic

Our circuit starts with a voltage source which alternates between 1.5 and 3.5
volts at a frequency of 10 Hz. We use a current pump to convert this voltage
difference into a current, which is then sent through the body of our test subject.
The voltage at the two ends of the subjects body is sent into an instrumentation
amplifier, which acts as a subtractor. We then send the resulting voltage through
filters and amplifiers. The filter system consists of two filters and two amplifiers.
The first filter is a low-pass followed by an amplifier with a gain of 3. Following
the amplifier is a high-pass filter and another amplifier with a gain of 3. This
filters out noise and amplifies the output signal by a factor of nine.

2

3

Current Pump Analysis

Figure 2: The current pump used

The following is an analysis of our current pump, shown in Figure 2.
3

As shown in the analysis, the current running through the person is independent of their impedance. We can then use Ohm’s Law: V = IR, to calculate
impedance.

4

Current Pump Across a 1M Resistor
4
Input Voltage
Output Voltage
3.5

Voltage

3

2.5

2

1.5

1

−0.2 −0.15 −0.1 −0.05

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

Time (s)

Figure 3: Using the current pump on a 1M Ω resistor

We input a sine wave with an amplitude of 1 V and use an R2 value of 1M Ω,
1V
= 1µA. Using
based on our analysis we should produce a current of i = 1000000Ω
Ohm’s Law, we can calculate the expected output voltage as a function of input
voltage.

Vmeasured = ipump Rperson
Vin
ipump =
R2
Rperson
Vmeasured = Vin ×
R2
In this case, because both Rperson and R2 are 1M Ω, we can expect the
amplitude of Vmeasured to equal Vin , which it does.

4

Receiver Circuit Analysis

The following equations can be used to predict the output of our receiver circuit.

5

Vin
1
=
Vout
1 + jωRC
Vin
jωRC
=
Vout
1 + jωRC
Rf
Vin
=1+
Vout
Rg

(Low Pass Filter)
(High Pass Filter)
(Non Inverting Amplifier)

Substituting in the values used, we can plot actual vs measured amplitude.

Output of Receiver Circuit
20
Input Voltage
Output Voltage
Expected Output

15
10

Amplitude (dB)

5
0
−5
−10
−15
−20
−25
−30
0
10

1

2

10

10

3

10

Frequency (Hz)

Figure 4: A bode plot of the receiver circuit

5

Calculating Body Fat Percentage

Using Ohm’s Law, we can calculate the bio electrical impedance of our test
subjects by inputting a sine wave voltage across them and then analysing the
result using the following equation:

6

Rperson =

Vperson
iperson

Rperson =

Vmeasured
gain
Vin
1000000Ω

Rperson =

Vmeasured × 1000000Ω
Vin × 7.4861

The value for gain was obtained from the value of gain in the bode plot at
10Hz.
We can then calculate body fat percentage using the following formula:

BodyF at% = 1 −

5.1

0.0005 ∗ Cm2 + 0.392 ∗ Kg − 0.0684 ∗ Age − 5.1841 ∗ Gender + 24.678 − 0.00000224 ∗ Imped
Kg

Test Subject 1
Body Fat Calculator on Subject 1
Bioelectrical Impedence =405365.9386Ω
4.5
Input Voltage
Voltage Across Person

4
3.5

Voltage

3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5

−0.2 −0.15 −0.1 −0.05

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

Time (s)

Figure 5: The output of our circuit on subject 1

For subject 1, plugging these numbers into our equation, we get:
7

0.25

0.0005 ∗ 1752 + 0.392 ∗ 73 − 0.0684 ∗ 19 − 5.1841 ∗ 1 + 24.678 − 0.00000224 ∗ 405366
73
BodyF at% = 16.14%

BodyF at% = 1 −

5.2

Test Subject 2
Body Fat Calculator on Subject 2
Bioelectrical Impedence =125249.0487Ω
4
Input Voltage
Voltage Across Person
3.5

Voltage

3

2.5

2

1.5

1

−0.2 −0.15 −0.1 −0.05

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

Time (s)

Figure 6: The output of our circuit on subject 2

For subject 2:
0.0005 ∗ 1932 + 0.392 ∗ 84 − 0.0684 ∗ 19 − 5.1841 ∗ 1 + 24.678 − 0.00000224 ∗ 125249
84
BodyF at% = 17.30%

BodyF at% = 1 −

6

Conclusion

This circuit uses a current pump to send a constant alternating current across
the test subject, the amplitude of which is independent of the resistance of the

8

test subject. The output voltage can then be analysed to find the subject’s bioelectrical impedance, which can be used to calculate body fat %. However, when
calculating body fat, the most important values to know are the subject’s height
and weight; theirbio-electricall impedance merely serves to tune this number
closer to its true value.

9