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Publication numberUS20040171464 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/377,296
Publication dateSep 2, 2004
Filing dateFeb 28, 2003
Priority dateFeb 28, 2003
Also published asWO2004078281A1
Publication number10377296, 377296, US 2004/0171464 A1, US 2004/171464 A1, US 20040171464 A1, US 20040171464A1, US 2004171464 A1, US 2004171464A1, US-A1-20040171464, US-A1-2004171464, US2004/0171464A1, US2004/171464A1, US20040171464 A1, US20040171464A1, US2004171464 A1, US2004171464A1
InventorsDarren Ashby, Rodney Hammer
Original AssigneeDarren Ashby, Hammer Rodney L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise device with body fat monitor
US 20040171464 A1
Abstract
An exercise system with a body fat monitor. The exercise system includes biometric sensors including a body fat sensor. Some of the electrodes used by the biometric sensors are used by more than one sensor. A body fat monitor is linked with the exercise device and includes a processing assembly that uses an impedance sensed by the body fat sensor in combination with user data to determine a body fat percentage of the user. The body fat percentage is then displayed to a user. Historical values of the body fat percentage are stored and can also be displayed to a user.
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Claims(53)
What is claimed is:
1. An exercise system comprising:
a. an exercise device comprising:
a frame; and
an operable member operably linked to the frame; and
b. a body fat monitor linked to the exercise device, wherein the body fat monitor monitors a body fat of a user of the exercise device.
2. An exercise system as defined in claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the body fat monitor is integrated with a console supported by the frame.
3. An exercise system as defined in claim 1, wherein the body fat monitor senses an impedance of the user and determines a body fat percentage of the user using at least the impedance of the user.
4. An exercise system as defined in claim 1, wherein the body fat monitor comprises:
a display for conveying a body fat percentage to the user;
a processing assembly for computing the body fat percentage of the user using at least one regression analysis that incorporates at least the impedance of the user; and
a plurality of electrodes used by the processing assembly to determine the impedance of the user.
5. An exercise system as defined in claim 4, wherein at least the display and the processing assembly are integrated into a console linked to the frame.
6. An exercise system as defined in claim 4, wherein the processing assembly further comprises:
a body fat sensor that uses the plurality of electrodes to determine the impedance of the user; and
a biometric processor that uses the impedance and user data in the at least one regression analysis to determine the body fat percentage of the user.
7. An exercise system as defined in claim 6, further comprising a heart rate monitor linked to the exercise device for determining a heart rate of the user, wherein the heart rate is conveyed to the user on the display.
8. An exercise system as defined in claim 8, wherein at least one electrode included in the plurality of electrodes is shared by the body fat sensor and the heart rate sensor.
9. An exercise system as defined in claim 6, further comprising a body mass index monitor that monitors a body mass index of a user.
10. An exercise system as defined in claim 9, wherein the body mass index monitor displays a current body mass index of the user or at least one historical value of the user's body mass index and wherein the body mass index is updated when the user data changes.
11. An exercise system as defined in claim 6, wherein the body fat monitor further comprises:
a measure input for activating the body fat sensor such that the impedance of the user is measured when the user is in contact with the plurality of electrodes;
a progress input that causes at least one historical value of the body fat percentage to be displayed on the display; and
a program input that selects a workout routine for the user based on one or more measurements of the body fat.
12. An exercise system comprising:
an exercise device comprising:
a frame; and
an operable member operably linked to the frame; and
a body fat monitor linked to the exercise device, the body fat monitor comprising:
a processing assembly having a body fat sensor, wherein the processing assembly determines a body fat percentage of a user; and
a display for conveying the body fat percentage to the user; and
a plurality of electrodes in electrical communication with the body fat sensor.
13. An exercise system as defined in claim 12, wherein the processing assembly determines a body fat percentage using one or more of:
an impedance of the user sensed by the body fat sensor; and
user data that is accessed by the processing assembly, wherein the user data includes one or more of:
a height of the user;
a weight of the user;
an age of the user; and
a sex of the user.
14. An exercise system as defined in claim 13, wherein the processing assembly further comprises a processor that uses at least one regression analysis to determine the body fat percentage of the user.
15. An exercise system as defined in claim 14, wherein the at least one regression analysis combines the impedance of the user and user data to determine the body fat percentage of the user.
16. An exercise system as defined in claim 14, wherein the body fat monitor stores user data for more than one user.
17. An exercise system as defined in claim 12, wherein the body fat monitor further comprises:
a first input for activating the body fat sensor such that the impedance of the user is measured;
a second input that causes a progress of the user to be displayed on the display; and
a third input that selects a workout routine for the user based on one or more measurements of the body fat percentage.
18. An exercise system as defined in claim 12, wherein the plurality of electrodes includes a reference electrode that is configured for use by other biometric sensors.
19. An exercise system as defined in claim 18, wherein the processing assembly further comprises a heart rate sensor that uses the reference electrode.
20. An exercise system as defined in claim 12, wherein the plurality of electrodes are mounted in one or more handles linked with at least one of the body fat monitor and the frame of the exercise device.
21. An exercise system as defined in claim 20, wherein the plurality of electrodes includes a first electrode mounted in a first handle and a second electrode mounted in a second handle, wherein the first handle and the second handle each include a contact of a reference electrode.
22. An exercise system as defined in claim 13, wherein the plurality of electrodes are used to determine the impedance of the user.
23. An exercise system as defined in claim 12, further comprising a body mass index monitor that tracks and displays a body mass index of a user.
24. An exercise system comprising:
a frame;
an operable member operably linked to the frame; and
a body fat monitor linked to at least one of the frame and the operable member, wherein the body fat monitor comprises:
a body fat sensor electrically connected to a first electrode, a second electrode, and a reference electrode, wherein an impedance of a user is measured using the first electrode, the second electrode, and the reference electrode; and
a display for displaying a body fat percentage of the user, wherein the body fat monitor computes the body fat percentage using at least one of (i) the impedance of the user and (ii) user data.
25. An exercise system as defined in claim 24, wherein the exercise system further comprises a heart rate sensor having a first electrode and a second electrode, wherein the heart rate sensor shares the reference electrode with the body fat sensor.
26. An exercise system as defined in claim 24, wherein the body fat monitor further comprises a measure input that activates the body fat sensor such that an impedance of a user is measured when the user contacts the first electrode of the body fat sensor, the second electrode of the body fat sensor, and the reference electrode.
27. An exercise system as defined in claim 26, wherein the measure input deactivates the heart rate sensor.
28. An exercise system as defined in claim 24, wherein the body fat monitor further comprises a program input that provides a workout routine for the user based on measurements from the body fat sensor.
29. An exercise system as defined in claim 24, wherein the body fat monitor stores measurements of a user's body fat, wherein the body fat monitor further comprises a progress input that displays a progress of the user over a particular time period using the stored measurements of the user's body fat.
30. An exercise system as defined in claim 24, wherein the body fat monitor includes a biometric processor that uses the impedance of the user in combination with the user data stored at the body fat monitor in at least one regression analysis to determine the body fat of the user, wherein the user data includes one or more of:
a height of the user;
a weight of the user;
an age of the user; and
a sex of the user.
31. An exercise system as defined in claim 30, wherein the biometric processor further selects at least one regression analysis based on a body mass index of the user.
32. An exercise system comprising:
a frame;
an operable member operably linked to the frame; and
a monitoring assembly linked to at least one of the frame and the operable member, the monitoring assembly comprising:
a first set of electrodes including a first reference electrode contact;
a second set of electrodes including a second reference electrode contact;
a body fat sensor electrically connected with the first and second sets of electrodes, the body fat sensor being adapted to measure a body fat percentage of the user when the user contacts the first set of electrodes and the second set of electrodes; and
a heart rate sensor that is electrically connected with the first and second sets of electrodes, the heart rate sensor using the first set of electrodes and the second set of electrodes to determine a heart rate of the user when the user.
33. An exercise system as defined in claim 32, wherein the heart rate is inactive when the body fat sensor is activated and the body fat sensor is inactive when the heart rate sensor is activated.
34. An exercise system as defined in claim 32, wherein the monitoring assembly comprises a console having a measure input, a program input, and a progress input.
35. An exercise system as defined in claim 34, wherein the measure input activates the body fat sensor to determine a body fat percentage when the measure input is activated.
36. An exercise system as defined in claim 34, wherein the program input uses a current measurement of body fat percentage with previous measurements of body fat percentage to suggest a workout routine to the user.
37. An exercise system as defined in claim 34, wherein the progress input displays the process of a user on the display using one or more measurements of body fat percentage.
38. An exercise system as defined in claim 34, wherein the console stores user data for one or more users.
39. An exercise system as defined in claim 32, wherein the monitoring assembly further comprises a biometric processor that uses an impedance of the user sensed by the body fat sensor in combination with stored user data in at least one regression analysis to determine the body fat percentage of the user.
40. An exercise system as defined in claim 39, wherein the biometric processor further selects at least one regression analysis based on a body mass index of the user, wherein the selected at least one regression analysis is used to determine a body fat percentage of the user.
41. An exercise system as defined in claim 39, wherein the biometric processor:
selects a first regression analysis if the body mass index is above a first value;
selects a second regression analysis if the body mass index is below a second value; and
averages the first regression analysis with the second regression analysis if the body mass index is between the first value and the second value.
42. An exercise system as defined in claim 32, wherein the body fat sensor and the heart rate sensor are electrically connected with the first reference electrode contact and the second reference electrode contact.
43. An exercise system as recited in claim 32, wherein the first set of electrodes is mounted on a first handle and the second set of electrodes is mounted on a second handle.
44. An exercise system as defined in claim 32, further comprising a body mass index monitor that stores a current body mass index of a user and historical body mass index values of the user, wherein the body mass index monitor displays the current body mass index or the historical body mass index values of the user on a display.
45. A monitoring assembly that measures and monitors one or more biometrics of a user for use with an exercise device, the monitoring assembly comprising:
biometric circuitry having:
a heart rate sensor electrically connected to a first heart rate electrode, a second heart rate electrode, a first reference electrode contact, and a second reference electrode contact; and
a body fat sensor electrically connected to a first body fat electrode, a second body fat electrode, and the first reference electrode contact and the second reference electrode contact;
a signal processor adapted to determine an impedance from the data generated by the body fat sensor and to determine a heart rate from the data generated by the heart rate sensor;
a biometric processor that stores user data and that stores one or more regression analyses, wherein the biometric processor determines a user's body fat percentage using the impedance from the signal processor in combination with (i) user data and (ii) at least one regression analysis selected from the one or more regression analyses; and
a display for displaying a user's body fat percentage and heart rate.
46. A monitoring assembly as defined in claim 45, wherein the first heart rate electrode, the first body fat electrode, the first reference electrode contact are mounted in a first handle linked with the monitoring assembly.
47. A monitoring assembly as defined in claim 45, wherein the second heart rate electrode, the second body fat electrode, and the second reference electrode contact are mounted in a second handle linked with the monitoring assembly.
48. A monitoring assembly as defined in claim 45, wherein the first heart rate electrode, the second heart rate electrode, the first body fat electrode, the second body fat electrode, and the first and second reference electrode contacts are mounted in a frame of an exercise device.
49. A monitoring assembly as defined in claim 45, further comprising:
a measure input for activating the body fat sensor such that the impedance of the user is measured when a user is in contact with the first body fat electrode, the second body fat electrode and the reference electrode;
a progress input that causes a progress of the user to be displayed on the display such that at least one historical value of a body fat percentage is displayed on the display; and
a program input that selects a workout routine for the user based on one or more measurements of the body fat percentage.
50. An exercise system comprising:
a. an exercise device comprising:
a frame; and
an operable member operably linked to the frame; and
b. a monitoring assembly linked to the exercise device, the monitoring assembly including a body fat monitor, wherein the monitoring assembly provides a workout routine for a user based on user data provided by the user.
51. An exercise system as defined in claim 50, wherein the user data provided by the user includes one or more of:
a height of the user;
a weight of the user;
an age of the user;
a sex of the user;
a body fat of the user;
a body mass index of the user;
historical values of the user's body mass index;
historical values the user's body fat;
a heart rate of the user;
historical values the user's heart rate; and
historical values of the user's use of the exercise device.
52. An exercise system as defined in claim 50, wherein the user data provided by the user comprises data input by the user.
53. An exercise system as defined in claim 50, wherein the user data provided by the user comprises historical data generated by the user's use of the exercise device.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. The Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to exercise devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to systems, methods, and exercise devices for measuring and monitoring biometrics of an exercising user and more specifically to systems and methods for measuring the body fat of a user.
  • [0003]
    2. The Relevant Technology
  • [0004]
    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among individuals to monitor and improve themselves physically. Typically, individuals are able to physically improve themselves by setting goals relating to diet and exercise. Many of these individuals have different reasons for beginning an exercise program. Some individuals are motivated to reduce the risk of certain life-shortening or debilitating illnesses, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and diabetes, while other individuals simply want to lose weight. Some individuals simply desire to maintain their health.
  • [0005]
    The ability of people to persevere in an exercise program is increased if people are able to monitor their progress and see the results of their exercise program. A person who wants to lose weight, for example, may write down the weight on a weekly basis. Over time, that person is able to view their progress and determine whether their exercise program is helping them achieve their goal.
  • [0006]
    One of the ways that exercise programs help individuals achieve their goal is by monitoring certain biometrics. One commonly measured and monitored biometric is heart rate. In fact, heart rate is often used to establish an exercise program that helps a user improve their health. For example, some exercise programs establish a target heart rate that the user must achieve and maintain as they exercise. The benefit they receive from exercising may be increased because they are exercising properly. Tailoring exercise to a heart rate may only be done, of course, if the heart rate is monitored as the user exercises. Often, users strap sensors to their bodies in order to monitor their heart rate. Body weight and blood pressure are other biometrics that people monitor to help them improve their health.
  • [0007]
    Another biometric that is used to monitor exercise is body fat. This biometric does not typically change significantly during a single exercise session. However, body fat is a useful indication of a person's health and provides excellent feedback that reflects how the user's health is improving over time. Measuring and monitoring percent body fat, however, is a more difficult task.
  • [0008]
    One generally accepted method for measuring a person's body fat is to immerse the person in a tank of water and measure the amount of water that is displaced. Calculations are then performed to determine the person's percent body fat. Unfortunately, this method is very difficult to implement in practice because it requires a large tank of water and some reasonably expensive equipment to operate. Additionally, the person must take the time to go to the location of the tank to have their body fat measured and pay a relatively large sum of money each time the test is performed. This is inconvenient and expensive for people that wish to monitor their percent body fat on a frequent basis.
  • [0009]
    Currently, portable machines are available which allow an individual to calculate his or her body fat percentage without going to a remote location. Unfortunately, many of these devices require an individual to hook up various wires or electrodes to particular parts of the body in order to effectuate these measurements. These devices take time to connect to the body and are not easily used while the person is exercising. Improper use of these devices may also result in inaccurate measurements.
  • [0010]
    Although the knowledge of an individual's body fat percentage is of considerable value, it would be more useful to be able to quickly and easily take these measurements on a regular basis, such as over a period of weeks or months. Such historical information is particularly valuable to individuals who are on a diet or fitness program as an indication of the progress they are making in reducing body fat or weight over a period of time.
  • [0011]
    Many individuals who are undertaking a program of regular exercise would like to have the ability to measure body fat percentage on a regular basis without having to go to a location specifically to have the measurement done or pay large sums of money. Additionally, these individuals would like to be able to monitor such body functions as heart rate while they are using a particular piece of exercise device to ensure they are getting the maximum benefit, both out of the workout routine and the exercise device itself.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    These and other limitations are overcome by the present invention, which relates to exercise systems and devices that measure and monitor biometrics including, but not limited to, body fat, heart rate, and/or body mass index (BMI). The present invention includes a body fat sensor and/or a heart rate sensor that may be used before, during, or after an exercise session. The present invention is also able to track a user's body fat over time and provide workout routines based on a user's body fat. A user's BMI can be tracked and adjusted as the weight of the user changes.
  • [0013]
    In one embodiment, the exercise device includes a frame that is connected with an operable member such as a belt assembly on a treadmill or a pedal assembly on an elliptical device. A monitoring assembly is linked to the frame and includes a console that is positioned such that a user easily views a display on the console as the user exercises. The display of the console conveys a user's body fat percentage after it is measured. The display is also able to display historical values of the user's body fat percentage.
  • [0014]
    The monitoring assembly typically has a pair of electrodes that may be coupled to handles grasped by a user. The handles may be connected to the console, but the handles can alternatively be part of the frame or of the operable member of the exercise device. The electrodes can be used by, for example, a body fat sensor and/or a heart rate sensor, and may be integrated into the handles. In one embodiment, at least one of the electrodes in each handle is shared by both the body fat sensor and the heart rate sensor. When a person grasps a handle in each hand, the electrodes are used to send signals through the person's body that may be analyzed. The body fat sensor, for example, uses a signal to determine the person's impedance. In another embodiment, the electrodes are linked to the exercise device independently from the handles.
  • [0015]
    The impedance obtained from the body fat sensor may be used in a regression analysis to determine the user's body fat percentage. In one embodiment, more than one regression analysis is available to the monitoring assembly. The regression analysis used to determine a particular user's percent body fat may be determined from the user's body mass index (BMI). In addition, the regression analysis may also incorporate user data including the user's weight, height, age, and/or sex when determining the user's body fat percentage.
  • [0016]
    User data such as weight, height, age, and sex may be stored by the monitoring assembly for multiple users such that the body fat or other biometrics of multiple users may be stored and monitored. When the body fat of a particular user is measured, the percent body fat is determined and then displayed on the console of the monitoring assembly. The console also has the ability to display the user's progress in terms of body fat as well as suggest a workout routine based on the user's body fat. The console may also display the user's progress in terms of other biometrics.
  • [0017]
    The BMI of a user is typically defined by the weight and the height of the As user. As a user exercises, the user's weight is likely to change. The monitoring assembly can track and adjust a user's BMI as the user's weight changes over time. The BMI can be displayed to the user. In one embodiment, historical values of the BMI are stored such that a history of the user's BMI can also be displayed. In this manner, a user can track his or her progress using the BMI.
  • [0018]
    Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the invention. These and other features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0019]
    To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof that are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an exercise system comprising: an exercise device linked to a monitoring assembly in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 2 is a top view of one embodiment of a monitoring assembly that includes a console connected to handles having electrodes mounted thereon; and
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the monitoring assembly illustrated in FIG. 2.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0023]
    The present invention generally relates to systems, methods, and devices for measuring a user's biometrics including a user's body fat and/or heart rate. More particularly, the present invention relates to an exercise system that has a body fat monitor for measuring a user's body fat and/or a heart rate monitor for measuring a user's heart rate. In one embodiment, the biometric sensors share a common or reference electrode.
  • [0024]
    As used herein, “exercise device” includes, but is not limited to, treadmills, stationary bicycles, stair stepping equipment, elliptical machines, or other device usable by a user to perform exercise programs or regimes. Each exercise device typically includes an operable member that is used primarily for exercise. For example, a treadmill includes a belt assembly that permits a user to run, jog, or walk. Both stationary bicycles and elliptical machines typically have pedal assemblies that enable a person to pedal or run as needed.
  • [0025]
    The present invention is described herein in context of a treadmill, which is illustrated in FIG. 1 as a treadmill 10, but one of skill in the art may appreciate that the present invention may be used with other exercise devices. The treadmill 10 includes a tread base 20 that is movably connected to a frame 12. The connection between the tread base 20 and the frame 12 enables the tread base 20 to be lowered or raised as needed by a user. When the tread base 20 is lowered as illustrated in FIG. 1, the treadmill 10 may be used for exercise. When the tread base 20 is raised, the treadmill 10 cannot be used for exercise and is usually stored until the tread base 20 is lowered for use. Other treadmills may include tread bases that are fixed and are unable to be moved between an exercise position and a storage position.
  • [0026]
    The tread base 20 of treadmill 10 has a left side 16 and a right side 18. As illustrated, the left side 16 and the right side 18 are spaced apart and are in general alignment. The tread base 20 has an endless belt 24 positioned between the left side 16 and the right side 18. The endless belt 24 or tread is part of a belt assembly and is configured to receive a user thereon to perform exercises such as running, walking, jogging, etc.
  • [0027]
    The frame 12 provides support for the treadmill 10. Therefore, the components of treadmill 10 are supported by the frame 12 and may be considered as being linked to the frame 12. The frame 12 is configured to be freestanding and to stably support the treadmill 10. The frame 12 includes an upright structure 14 that supports tread base 20 and has a left upright member 19 and a right upright member 21 spaced from left upright member 19 and in general alignment therewith. The frame 12 further includes, in this example, a left support member 54 and a right support member 52. The support members 54 and 52 may be used, for example, to help a user maintain balance or provide support to the user as the user performs an exercise.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 1 is an example of an exercise system 8 comprising an exercise device 10 that is linked to a monitoring assembly 100.
  • [0029]
    The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 illustrates that exercise system 8 of the present invention has a monitoring assembly 100 comprising (i) a console 200 linked to the frame 12 of device 10; and (ii) electrodes electrically coupled to the console 200. The console 200 is positioned between the left upright member 19 and the right upright member 21 such that a user may easily view the console 200 when the user is positioned on the endless belt 24. The console 200 has operating controls that may be controlled by a user to operate the treadmill 10. The console 200 further includes one or more displays that may be used by the user to identify various parameters associated with the exercise being performed. Although references made to the console 200 as being disposed between upright members 19 and 21, one skilled in the art may appreciate that the console 200 may be coupled to only one of the upright members 19 and 21, whether or not the same is between the upright members 19 and 21.
  • [0030]
    The console 200, in this illustration, is connected to a handle 202 and a handle 204. The handles may be integrally coupled to the console 200 or coupled thereto through a variety of different manners. In this example, electrodes for one or more biometric sensors are mounted in handles 202 and 204. The sensors are typically contained within the console 200. The handles 202 and 204 are positioned so that a user may grasp handles 202 and 204 while exercising or while resting. The electrodes in the handles 202 and 204 are used to pass a signal through the user's body or are used to detect signals generated by the body. One of skill in the art may appreciate that the electrodes of the present invention may be coupled to a variety of different structures, such as respective handles, the frame, the console, or one or more operable members, for example, but may, in another embodiment, be held by the user independently of such structures.
  • [0031]
    A processor (not shown) included in the console 200 analyzes the signals from the electrodes to determine the biometric being measured. In this example, the handles 202 and 204 have electrodes for a heart rate sensor and a body fat sensor mantel thereon. In addition, the sensors share a common or reference electrode. Each handle 202 and 204 has a reference electrode contact thereon that typically has the same potential. In one embodiment, the biometric sensors may be mounted in or to the frame 12.
  • [0032]
    In another embodiment that is also illustrated in FIG. 1, electrodes for the biometric sensors are mounted in the support members 52 and 54. In each case, the electrodes are electrically connected with the biometric sensors, regardless of where the electrodes are located. This permits the electrodes to be placed in any useful location relative to the frame 12, the console 200, or more generally exercise device 10. The electrodes may also be configured to be held directly by a user or may be located in one or more handheld devices that are separate from the exercise device but in communication with the console 200. This may enable the user to more easily hold the electrodes while the user's biometrics are measured.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a monitoring assembly 100 that includes a console 200. The monitoring assembly 100, may be linked to the frame 12 (FIG. 1) of the exercise device 10. The console 200 includes biometric sensors that may detect and measure various biometrics that include, but are not limited to, user's percent body fat and a user's heart rate. In this example, the biometric sensors are mounted in the console 200 and the electrodes are integrated with the handles 202 and 204. The handles 202 and 204 are configured to be grasped by a user and the biometric sensors may measure or detect biometrics of the user when the user is in contact with the electrodes of the biometric sensors. The handles 202 and 204 are connected to the console 200. Alternatively, the handles can be mounted on the frame or operable member of the exercise device.
  • [0034]
    In an alternative embodiment, the biometric sensors may be mounted directly in the frame 12 (FIG. 1) of the exercise device or other suitable location as previously stated. The electrodes embedded in handles 202 and 204 are typically flush with the surface of the handles 202 and 204 and are electrically isolated from each other in each respective handle 202 and 204. Alternatively, the electrodes may be raised from the surface of the handles 202 and 204 to ensure electrical contact with a user when the user grasps the handles 202 and 204.
  • [0035]
    In one embodiment, the body fat sensor is electrically coupled to an electrode 210, an electrode 208 and one or more reference electrodes. The reference electrode may have a plurality of reference electrode contacts 214 a-b. The reference electrode contacts 214 a-b have the same potential on both the handle 202 and the handle 204 and serve as a reference for the electrodes 210 and 208. The reference electrode contacts 214 a-b, for example, are electrically connected together and may be grounded. Similarly, the heart rate sensor is electrically coupled to an electrode 206 and an electrode 209. In this example, the heart rate sensor and the body fat sensor utilize the same reference electrode contacts 214 a-b.
  • [0036]
    Alternatively, the heart rate sensor and the body fat sensor do not share the same reference electrode contacts. In this example, each sensor would have a reference electrode contact that is separate from the reference electrode contact of the other sensor(s). For instance, each of the reference electrodes 214 a-b could be separated into two separate electrodes. In such an alternate embodiment, the electrodes, 206, 210, 208, and 209 would be associated with a separate reference electrode contact.
  • [0037]
    The electrodes 206, 210 and the reference electrode contact 214 on the handle 202 and the electrodes 208, 209, and the reference electrode contact 214 on the handle 204 are positioned such that a user's hands contact the relevant electrodes when the user grips the handles 202 and 204. When the user is measuring only body fat, for example, one hand is in contact with the electrode 210 and the electrode contact 214 a while the user's other hand is in contact with the electrode 208 and the electrode contact 214 b. In one such embodiment, the electrodes 206 and 209 are not active even though the user's hands are likely to be in contact with these electrodes.
  • [0038]
    When the user is grasping the handles 202 and 204 in this manner, a signal may be passed through the user's body, measured, and analyzed to determine the user's body fat as a percentage. In this example, the signal may originate at the electrode 210 and be detected at the electrode 208, however it is understood that the opposite case is also possible. The signal passed through the user's body is typically dependent on the biometric being measured.
  • [0039]
    In another embodiment of the present invention, the same electrodes may be used to measure different biometrics or other measurable characteristic or property of the human body. The console 200, for example, may have a control that determines which biometric is being measured by the electrodes. In this embodiment, the electrodes 210 and 208 could be eliminated and the electrodes 206 and 209 could be used for all biometric sensors. In this example, however, either the body fat sensor or the heart rate sensor is inactive as the signal used by the heart rate sensor to detect a heart rate may interfere with a signal used by the body fat monitor to detect body fat. Only one of the sensors is active at a particular time. The user may provide input through console 200 to activate a different sensor, which also deactivates the other sensors such that a single sensor is active. One of the sensors may be active by default.
  • [0040]
    The console 200 includes inputs 220, 222, and 224, such as buttons, switches, and other controls, that are often used in conjunction with a body fat sensor or other biometric sensor. The input 220, when depressed by a user, activates the body fat sensor while deactivating the heart rate sensor. The user then grips the handles so that each hand is in contact with the appropriate electrodes as described above and a signal is input to the user's body through the electrode 210 in one configuration. The signal, after passing through the body of the user, is measured at the electrode 208. From the signal, the impedance of the user is determined; the impedance is usually expressed in ohms. The impedance is then used by the console 200 to determine the user's body fat or body fat percentage.
  • [0041]
    Body fat content as a percentage of total body weight may be measured by measuring the body's electrical impedance. The body's impedance can be measured, for example, between the individual's feet, between the foot and arm, or across the trunk of an individual. Measuring a person's impedance is based, in one embodiment, on the different electrical properties of various biological tissues at different signal frequencies. Tissues that contain a lot of water and electrolytes, such as muscle, are highly conductive. Fat, bone, and air-filled spaces such as the lungs are more resistive. The volume of these tissues may thus be determined from measurements of their combined resistances.
  • [0042]
    In one embodiment, before the impedance may be used to determine the user's body fat percentage, the user enters user data into the console 200 using a user input 250. In one example, the user data includes, but is not limited to, height, weight, sex, and/or age data. The console 200 includes components such as a processor, memory, and software that permit various types of data to be stored and used. The user data can be stored, for example, in a look up table or other data structure. Also, user data for more than one user can be stored and accessed as needed when a biometric such as body fat is being determined.
  • [0043]
    In another embodiment, the console 200 provides a connection over a computer network such as the Internet that permits a user's data to be stored remotely. The user data, for example, may be stored as a remote web site that tracks and analyses the user data. The data generated by the biometric sensors may also be stored either on the console or at a remote location.
  • [0044]
    The console 200 is able to store a user's data once the data is entered and console 200 is also able to store data for more than one user. Before exercising, a user may use user input 250 to scroll through a list of the users stored by the console 200 until the appropriate user is found. The user can use the enter button of the user input 250 to select the displayed user so that any measurements taken during the exercise session are associated with the that user. At this point, the console is prepared to measure a user's biometrics.
  • [0045]
    In one embodiment, when the user depresses the measure input 220, the electrodes in handles 202 and 204 for the body fat sensor are activated. Next, the user is instructed on display 230 to grip handles 202 and 204 such that the user's hands are in contact with the electrodes. If the electrodes are mounted in one or more handheld devices or component or on the frame, then the user is instructed to grip the handheld devices or component or the frame. Next, the body fat sensor measures the impedance or resistance of the user and the body fat percentage is computed by the console 200 using, in one embodiment, a regression analysis, performed by various hardware and/or software components and modules.
  • [0046]
    The regression analysis applied to a particular user may depend on the sex of the user and/or other characteristics. In one embodiment, the user's sex and body mass index (BMI) are used to identify the appropriate regression analysis. For example, if the body mass index (BMI) of a female user is greater than 28 a first regression analysis may be performed. If the BMI of the female user is less than 21, a second regression analysis may be performed. If the BMI of the female user is between 21 and 28, then the results of the first regression analysis and the second regression analysis may be combined or averaged. A similar approach may be performed for male users. As the BMI of the user changes, the regression analysis used to determine the user's body fat may changes as well. Thus, the system stores and updates the BMI of each user periodically or when the user enters a new weight value. By storing current and historical values of each user's BMI, the present invention is also able to display a user's progress in terms of the user's BMI.
  • [0047]
    The regression analysis often utilizes height of the user, the weight of the user, and the resistance of the user as measured by the body fat sensor to determine the user's percent body fat. The regression analysis may also incorporate the age of the user in some instances. In one embodiment, the following regression analysis is used to determine a user's body fat. In this example:
  • [0048]
    FFM=Fat Free Mass;
  • [0049]
    BW=Body Weight in kilograms;
  • [0050]
    HT=height in centimeters;
  • [0051]
    R=resistance in ohms;
  • [0052]
    BMI=Body Mass Index=BW/HT2;
  • [0053]
    % BF=Percent Body Fat; and
  • [0054]
    % BF=(100*((BW−FFM)/BW))).
  • [0055]
    For women whose BMI<21,
  • FM=0.000646(HT)2−0.014(R)+0.421(BM)+10.4.  (1)
  • [0056]
    For women whose BMI>28,
  • FFM=0.00091186(HT)2−0.01466(R)+0.29990(BW)−0.07012(age)+9.937938.  (2)
  • [0057]
    Equations (1) and (2) are averaged for a woman where 22<BMI<27.
  • [0058]
    For a man whose BMI<21,
  • FFM=0.00066360(HT)2−0.02117(R)+0.62854(BW)−0.12390(Age)+9.33285  (3)
  • [0059]
    For a man whose BMI>38,
  • FFM=0.0008858(HT)2−0.02999(R)+0.42688(BW)−)0.07002(Age)+14.52435  (4)
  • [0060]
    Equations (3) and (4) are averaged for a man where 22<BMI <27.
  • [0061]
    After the body fat percentage is determined, it is displayed to the user using a sensor display 240, such as one or more LCD displays or other displays capable of displaying data visually to a user. The sensor display 240 is also used, in one embodiment, to display the heart rate of the user as determined by the heart rate sensor. Alternatively, the body fat percentage or other biometric may be displayed on a different portion of the display 230.
  • [0062]
    As a user continues to use the exercise device over time and measure his or her biometrics, the console 200 stores values of the user's biometrics. The progress input 224 may be used to display a history of recent measurements or to provide a user with an indication of how he or she is progressing. For body fat measurements, the graphical display 240 may display a visual representation of how the user's body fat percentage has changed over a particular period of time.
  • [0063]
    For instance, the display may be a bar chart, pie chart, or other visual representation of the user's biometrics. In one embodiment, the user's initial body fat measurement and current body fat measurement are displayed. This gives the user an indication of their overall progress. Alternatively, body fat measurements for a specific period of time may be displayed, thus displaying the user's progress for the specific time period. This enables, for example, a user to track their progress over the last month. In addition, the user's progress may be displayed in terms of time, workout, weight, body fat percentage, and the like.
  • [0064]
    The program input 222, such as a switch, button, or other controller, utilizes the user's data along with their body fat measurement(s) to identify and suggest an exercise program for the user. This aspect of the console 200 uses the body fat measurement in combination with a user's lifestyle to provide or recommend a workout routine. A user may be provided with different options that recommend fat grams, carbohydrate grams, total calories, and the like along with a workout routine. For example, if the lifestyle of a user is to lose weight, then the workout routine is configured accordingly. If a user, on the other hand, simply desires to maintain their current weight, then the workout routine is recommended accordingly.
  • [0065]
    In one embodiment, when a user begins to use an exercise system in accordance with the present invention, the user provides user data (height, weight, age, sex, etc.) to the exercise system. The user provides user data, for example, by inputting the user data through the console 200. The user is prompted to update the user data periodically or the user can update the user data at any time without being prompted. The biometrics measured by the body fat monitor and the heart rate monitor can be stored and included in the user data. In one embodiment, as a user exercises, body fat measurements, heart rate measurements, BMI, and the like are added to or associated with the user data input by the user. As previously stated, the historical values of the biometric measurements can be displayed to the user to demonstrate the user's progress. When a user exercises, the duration of the exercise session, the calories burned, and other information generated by the exercise session can become part of or is associated with the user data. The historical data or values, for example, may include the amount of belt revolutions and belt speed on a treadmill, the amount of revolutions of the pedal assembly of an exercise bike, and the like. The program input can also utilize the user data to provide a particular workout routine for the user or to provide a workout routine that uses biometric ranges such as a target heart rate.
  • [0066]
    For example, when the user depresses the program input, the monitoring assembly can provide a workout routine using a portion of the user data such as the BMI. Alternatively, the monitoring assembly can consider the user's weight, height, and historical values of body fat to provide a workout routine. The workout routine provides by the monitoring assembly can also be affected by the information that is generated by the user's exercise sessions, such as historical data reflecting how much the user has used the exercise device. One of skill in the art can appreciate that the workout routine can be provided or recommended using the user data in a variety of different combinations.
  • [0067]
    [0067]FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the monitoring assembly 100. In FIG. 3, a biometric circuitry 300 may include, but is not limited to, a heart rate sensor 302 and a body fat sensor 304. The heart rate sensor 302 and the body fat sensor 304 are both connected to a reference electrode 307. The reference electrode 307 may include one or more reference electrode contacts as illustrated by reference electrode contacts 214 a, 214 b in FIG. 2. The heart rate sensor is also connected to the electrodes 308 (e.g. electrodes 206, 209) while the body fat sensor 304 is connected to the electrodes 309 (e.g. electrodes 208, 210). Each sensor, when active, generates a signal that is adapted for use with a user's body. The heart rate sensor 302, for example, uses the electrodes 308 and 307 to measure an EKG signal. A signal processor 306 is able to convert the data or signal from the heart rate sensor 302 into a heart rate. The signal processor 306 utilizes the signal or data received from the body fat sensor 304 to generate a resistance or impedance of the user.
  • [0068]
    A biometric processor 310 receives data from the biometric circuitry 300 and displays the measured biometric data on display 230 or 240. When measuring the body fat or percent body fat of a user, the biometric processor 310 receives an impedance from the signal processor 306. The biometric processor 310 uses the impedance determined by the body fat sensor 304, in combination with user data 312 and regression data 314, to compute and display the user's body fat percentage on the display 240 or the display 230. As previously indicated, the heart rate sensor, the body fat sensor, and other biometric sensors are configured such that they share at least one common electrode in one embodiment. In another embodiment, the electrodes are common to all biometric sensors but only one sensor is active at a time.
  • [0069]
    In another embodiment, the functionality of the signal processor 306 may be collapsed into biometric processor 310. This permits a single processor to compute all of the biometrics that may be measured using the console 200. Alternatively, the functionality of the signal processor can be collapsed into the body fat sensor 304 and/or the heart rate sensor 306.
  • [0070]
    [0070]FIG. 3 further illustrates an example of a processing assembly 315. The processing assembly 315 includes the body fat sensor 304, the signal processor 306 and the biometric processor 310. The processing assembly is able to determine a user's body fat percentage as previously described. A body fat monitor 317, which includes the processing assembly 315, the display 240, the reference electrode 307, and the electrodes 309, conveys the body fat percentage to the user. The body fat monitor also conveys other data to the user as previously described.
  • [0071]
    The present invention can also monitor the BMI of multiple users using a BMI monitor which is included in the monitoring assembly. The BMI is computed using the height and weight of a user as defined previously. As a user exercises, the user data, including the weight, is updated at times by the user or by prompting from the BMI monitor through the display of the monitoring assembly. The user typically updates his or her weight as his or her weight changes over time. As the user's weight changes, the BMI of the user also changes. The BMI of each user is stored by the BMI monitor and can be displayed to the user. In addition, historical values of each user's BMI is also stored by the BMI monitor. Thus, the progress of the user in terms of BMI can also be displayed to the user.
  • [0072]
    The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/54, 482/8
International ClassificationA63B22/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B22/00, A63B2230/70, A63B2230/06
European ClassificationA63B22/00
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