Living in a high rise can be quite amazing. You have better ventilation, don’t have to maintain a yard, and are less likely to have a pet problem. But higher floors could also affect how much you weigh. So, do you weigh more on higher floors?
You weigh less on higher floors. But the difference is so small it’s usually unnoticeable. There are mistakes to avoid when checking your weight, such as checking after a shower or randomly, consuming excess sodium before use, placing the scale on the wrong surface, and using an unsuitable scale.
These mistakes can affect the readings you get on the scale, and you might have an inaccurate or impossible understanding of the reading. Here, we discuss whether you weigh more on higher floors and common mistakes with weight scales.
How does Height Affect Your Weight?
People usually weigh less on higher floors than on lower floors. But the difference is usually slight. Weight is the mass of an object multiplied by the force of gravity acting on it. While your mass never changes, the gravity force reduces the farther away you get from the ground. So, you’ll be much lighter on higher floors. However, the difference might not be that noticeable in buildings unless it’s a very tall skyscraper. Even then, it’s still slight. The best way would be if you go somewhere that’s significantly above sea level, such as Mount Everest, you might notice your weight reduced by a few pounds compared to what you’ll weigh at sea level. With a regular bathroom scale, you won’t be able to tell the difference in the weight. But some scales will display the change.
It’s not only on higher floors that your weight might change. It could also change depending on the surface you put the scale on. People usually weigh less on harder surfaces than on soft carpets. On a hard surface, the scale base bends and reduces the distance between the loading point and the fulcrum. So, you can arrive at an accurate weight.
On the other hand, the carpet will support the base when the scale is in the carpet, thereby widening the distance between the fulcrum and loading point. So, you end up weighing more. Depending on how thick the carpet is and the scale you’re using, you could weigh up to 10% more. This is because manufacturers of scales calibrate them for hard surfaces rather than carpets.
Common Mistakes When Using Weight Scales
Determining your weight is great for tracking your health and other reasons. But there are many things you could be doing wrong while at it, and you may even end up feeling worse about your weight. Here are common mistakes that people make when using weights.
1. Weighing Yourself After Shower
The best time to weigh yourself is before a shower. Generally, your weight fluctuates throughout the day depending on what you eat and your activity. But showering can also affect that because your skin will absorb fluids. After a shower, your skin usually absorbs between 1 and 3 cups of water. The result is a slightly higher weight than your actual weight.
2. Weighing Yourself Randomly
The best way to get your true weight is to use the scale multiple times rather than just weighing yourself once a month or once a week. You can measure your weight every day and check the weekly average to determine your actual weight. Of course, you might miss some days or have days when there’s an upward fluctuation. But using average will still give you the most accurate weight and help you deal with any weight-related anxiety that you may develop due to incorrect measurements.
3. Using Unsuitable Scale
The scale you’re using also matters a lot, and you should find a scale that’s suitable for your lifestyle. If you’re very active, there are scales for that. Getting the right kind of scale can make a big difference as far as the accuracy of readings is concerned. Beyond the common analog bathroom scale, there are other types capable of more detailed measurements. Some scales can calculate your weight, body water percentage, BMI, bone mass density, and body fat percentage. Some scales have several modes for different lifestyles, and you can choose the right mode depending on your lifestyle. Part of this issue is also using a scale that’s difficult to interpret or read. If you don’t understand the numbers, there’s no point in being on the scale. So, go for something easy to read and understand.
4. Consuming Excess Sodium Before Using the Scale
Eating before using the scale may affect the readings. But when what you eat has excess sodium, you can expect the readings to be incorrect. Fast food, fried food, and most oriental food due to their sauce, processed meats, or any salty meal will make you retain more fluids. So, you’ll feel bloated and weigh more when you step on the scale. It’s advisable to cut back on these types of food before using the scale or even reduce them as part of your diet for better health overall.
5. Placing Scale on The Wrong Surface
As stated before, the best place for a scale is on hard ground. Carpet, uneven tiles, wood, and any other surface where the scale isn’t balanced will bring out an incorrect readout. Also, the load on a scale should be perpendicular to the surface and parallel to the direction of gravity. So, the slightest slope will influence your weight.
6. Not Considering Your Menstrual Cycle
This applies to women. You’re likely to have higher readings on your scale during your menstrual cycle. According to medical experts, women retain more fluids just before the menstrual cycle starts, leading to a weight gain of up to 8 pounds. So, if you notice a spike in your weight during that time, you have nothing to worry about.
Suppose you notice you weigh more on the second floor or the higher floors. This is likely because you’re using the scale on a carpet or using it wrongly. You’re supposed to weigh less, even if it’s too slight to notice.