Anthropometry

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The field of ergonomics employs anthropometry to optimize human interaction with equipment and workplaces.

Anthropometry (from Greek άνθρωπος anthropos, "man" and μέτρον metron, "measure") refers to the measurement of the human individual. An early tool of physical anthropology, it has been used for identification, for the purposes of understanding human physical variation, in paleoanthropology and in various attempts to correlate physical with racial and psychological traits.

Today, anthropometry plays an important role in industrial design, clothing design, ergonomics and architecture where statistical data about the distribution of body dimensions in the population are used to optimize products. Changes in life styles, nutrition and ethnic composition of populations lead to changes in the distribution of body dimensions (e.g. the obesity epidemic), and require regular updating of anthropometric data collections.

History[edit]

A Bertillon record for Francis Galton, from a visit to Bertillon's laboratory in 1893.

The history of anthropometry includes and spans various concepts, both scientific and pseudoscientific, such as craniometry, paleoanthropology, biological anthropology, phrenology, physiognomy, forensics, criminology, phylogeography, human origins, and cranio-facial description, as well as correlations between various anthropometrics and personal identity, mental typology, personality, cranial vault and brain size, and other factors.

At various times in history, applications of anthropometry have ranged vastly—from accurate scientific description and empidemiological analysis to rationales for eugenics and overtly racist social movements—and its points of concern have been numerous, diverse, and sometimes highly unexpected.

Individual variation[edit]

Auxologic[edit]

Height[edit]

Human height varies greatly between individuals and across populations for a variety of complex biological, genetic, environmental, and other factors. Due to methodological and practical problems, its measurement is also subject to considerable error in statistical sampling.

The average height in genetically and environmentally homogeneous populations is often proportional across a large number of individuals. Exceptional height variation (around 20% deviation from a population's average) within such a population is sometimes due to gigantism or dwarfism, which are caused by specific genes or endocrine abnormalities.[1]

In the most extreme population comparisons, for example, the average female height in Bolivia is 1.422 m (4 ft 8 in) while the average male height in the Dinaric Alps is 1.856 m (6 ft 1 in), an average difference of 43.4 cm (17 inches). Similarly, the shortest and tallest of individuals, Chandra Bahadur Dangi and Robert Wadlow, have ranged from 1 ft 9 in (0.53 m) to 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m), respectively.[2][3]

Weight[edit]

Human weight varies extensively both individually and across populations, with the most extreme documented examples of adults being Lucia Zarate who weighed 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg), and Jon Brower Minnoch who weighed 1,400 pounds (640 kg), and with population extremes ranging from 109.3 pounds (49.6 kg) in Bangladesh to 192.7 pounds (87.4 kg) in Micronesia.[4][5]

Organs[edit]

Limited research has shown that the adult brain size varies from 974.9 cm3 (59.49 cu in) to 1,498.1 cm3 (91.42 cu in) in females and 1,052.9 cm3 (64.25 cu in) to 1,498.5 cm3 (91.44 cu in) in males, with the average being 1,130 cm3 (69 cu in) and 1,260 cm3 (77 cu in), respectively.[6][7] The right cerebral hemisphere is typically larger than the left, whereas the cerebellar hemispheres are typically of more similar size.

Size of the human stomach varies significantly in adults, with one study showing areas ranging from 520 cm3 (32 cu in) to 1,536 cm3 (93.7 cu in) and weights ranging from 77 grams (2.7 oz) to 453 grams (16.0 oz).[8]

Male and female genitalia exhibit considerable individual variation, with penis size differing substantially and vaginal size differing significantly in healthy adults.[9][10][11]

Aesthetic[edit]

Human beauty and physical attractiveness have been preoccupations throughout history which often intersect with anthropometric standards. Cosmetology, facial symmetry, and waist–hip ratio are three such examples where measurements are commonly thought to be fundamental.

Evolutionary science[edit]

Anthropometric studies today are conducted to investigate the evolutionary significance of differences in body proportion between populations whose ancestors lived in different environments. Human populations exhibit climatic variation patterns similar to those of other large-bodied mammals, following Bergmann's rule, which states that individuals in cold climates will tend to be larger than ones in warm climates, and Allen's rule, which states that individuals in cold climates will tend to have shorter, stubbier limbs than those in warm climates.

On a micro evolutionary level anthropologists use anthropometric variation to reconstruct small-scale population history. For instance John Relethford's studies of early 20th-century anthropometric data from Ireland show that the geographical patterning of body proportions still exhibits traces of the invasions by the English and Norse centuries ago.

Measuring instruments[edit]

3D body scanners[edit]

Today anthropometry can be performed with three-dimensional scanners. A global collaborative study to examine the uses of three-dimensional scanners for health care was launched in March 2007. The Body Benchmark Study [1] will investigate the use of three-dimensional scanners to calculate volumes and segmental volumes of an individual body scan. The aim is to establish whether The Body Volume Index has the potential to be used as a long-term computer based anthropometric measurement for health care. In 2001 the UK conducted the largest sizing survey using scanners up to date. Since then several national surveys have followed in the UK's pioneering steps, notably SizeUSA, SizeMexico & Size Thailand, the latter still ongoing. Size UK showed that the nation had become taller and heavier but not as much as expected. Since 1951, when the last women's survey had taken place, the average weight for women had gone up from 62 to 65 kg.

Baropodographic[edit]

Example insole (in-shoe) foot pressure measurement device.

Baropodographic devices fall into two main categories: (i) floor-based, and (ii) in-shoe. The underlying technology is diverse, ranging from piezoelectric sensor arrays to light refraction,[12][13][14][15][16] but the ultimate form of the data generated by all modern technologies is either a 2D image or a 2D image time series of the pressures acting under the plantar surface of the foot. From these data other variables may be calculated (see Data analysis).

The spatial and temporal resolutions of the images generated by commercial pedobarographic systems range from approximately 3 to 10 mm and 25 to 500 Hz, respectively. Finer resolution is limited by sensor technology. Such resolutions yield a contact area of approximately 500 sensors (for a typical adult human foot with surface area of approximately 100 cm2).[17] For a stance phase duration of approximately 0.6 seconds during normal walking,[18] approximately 150,000 pressure values, depending on the hardware specifications, are recorded for each step.

Neuroimaging[edit]

Direct measurements involve examinations of brains from corpses, or more recently, imaging techniques such as MRI, which can be used on living persons. Such measurements is used research on neuroscience and intelligence. Brain volume data and other craniometric data is used in mainstream science to compare modern-day animal species, and to analyze the evolution of the human species in archeology. With the discovery that many blood proteins vary consistently among populations, followed by the discovery of the DNA code, the invention of the polymerase chain reaction that amplifies trace amounts of DNA, and the decoding of the human genome, phylogeographers largely switched away from craniofacial anthropometry whenever DNA is available.[citation needed]

Epidemiology and medical anthropology[edit]

Anthropometric measurements also have uses in epidemiology and medical anthropology, for example in helping to determine the relationship between various body measurements (height, weight, percentage body fat, etc.) and medical outcomes. Anthropometric measurements are frequently used to diagnose malnutrition in resource-poor clinical settings.

Forensics and criminology[edit]

Forensic anthropologists study the human skeleton in a legal setting. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of a decedent through various skeletal analyses that produce a biological profile. Forensic anthropologists utilize the Fordisc program to help in the interpretation of craniofacial measurements in regards to ancestry/race determination.

One part of a biological profile is a person's racial/ancestral affinity. People with considerable European ancestry generally have relatively no prognathism; a relatively small face; a narrow, tear-shaped nasal cavity; a "silled" nasal aperture; tower-shaped nasal bones; a triangular-shaped palate; and an angular and sloping eye orbit shape. People with considerable African ancestry typically have a broad and round nasal cavity; no dam or nasal sill; Quonset hut-shaped nasal bones; notable facial projection in the jaw and mouth area (prognathism); a rectangular-shaped palate; and a square or rectangular eye orbit shape. People with considerable East Asian ancestry are often characterized by a relatively small prognathism; no nasal sill or dam; an oval-shaped nasal cavity; tent-shaped nasal bones; a horseshoe-shaped palate; and a rounded and non-sloping eye orbit shape.[19] Many of these characteristics are only a matter of frequency among particular races: their presence or absence of one or more does not automatically classify an individual into a racial group.

Ergonomics[edit]

Today, ergonomics professionals apply an understanding of human factors to the design of equipment, systems and working methods in order to improve comfort, health, safety, and productivity. This includes physical ergonomics in relation to human anatomy, physiological and bio mechanical characteristics; cognitive ergonomics in relation to perception, memory, reasoning, motor response including human–computer interaction, mental workloads, decision making, skilled performance, human reliability, work stress, training, and user experiences; organizational ergonomics in relation to metrics of communication, crew resource management, work design, schedules, teamwork, participation, community, cooperative work, new work programs, virtual organizations, and telework; environmental ergonomics in relation to human metrics affected by climate, temperature, pressure, vibration, and light; visual ergonomics; and others.[20][21]

Biometrics[edit]

Iris recognition system based on pattern matching
2009 photo showing a man having a retinal scan taken by a U.S. Army soldier.

Biometrics refers to the identification of humans by their characteristics or traits. Biometrics is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control.[22] It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance. Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals.[23] Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological versus behavioral characteristics.[24] Examples applications include dermatoglyphics and soft biometrics.

United States military research[edit]

The US Military has conducted over 40 anthropometric surveys of U.S. Military personnel between 1945 and 1988, including the 1988 Army Anthropometric Survey (ANSUR) of men and women with its 240 measures. Statistical data from these surveys encompasses over 75,000 individuals.[25]

Fashion design[edit]

Scientists working for private companies and government agencies conduct anthropometric studies to determine a range of sizes for clothing and other items. Measurements of the foot are used in the manufacture and sale of footwear: measurement devices may be used either to determine a retail shoe size directly (e.g. the Brannock Device) or to determine the detailed dimensions of the foot for custom manufacture (e.g. ALINEr).[26]

Popular culture[edit]

In art Yves Klein termed anthropometries his performance paintings where he covered nude women with paint, and used their bodies as paintbrushes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology, Lange Medical 2001, p392-397
  2. ^ Shortest man world record: It’s official! Chandra Bahadur Dangi is smallest adult of all time Guinness World Records
  3. ^ "Tallest Man". Guinness World Records. March 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-19.  at Wayback machine
  4. ^ Chivers, Tom (2009-09-24). "Human extremes: the tallest, shortest, heaviest and lightest people ever". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  5. ^ Quilty-Harper, Conrad; Andrew Blenkinsop, David Kinross, Dan Palmer (2012-06-21). "The world's fattest countries: how do you compare?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  6. ^ Cosgrove, KP; Mazure CM; Staley JK (2007). "Evolving Knowledge of Sex Differences in Brain Structure, Function and Chemistry". Biol Psychiat 62 (8): 847–55. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.03.001. PMC 2711771. PMID 17544382. 
  7. ^ Allen, JS; Damasio H, Grabowski TJ (2002). "Normal neuroanatomical variation in the human brain: An MRI-volumetric study". Am J Phys Anthropol 118 (4): 341–58. doi:10.1002/ajpa.10092. PMID 12124914. 
  8. ^ Cox, Alvin J. (1945). "Variations in size of the human stomach" (PDF). California and Western Medicine 63 (6): 267–268. PMC 1473711. PMID 18747178. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  9. ^ Wessells, H.; Lue, T. F.; McAninch, J. W. (1996). "Penile length in the flaccid and erect states: Guidelines for penile augmentation". The Journal of urology 156 (3): 995–997. doi:10.1016/S0022-5347(01)65682-9. PMID 8709382.  edit
  10. ^ Chen, J.; Gefen, A.; Greenstein, A.; Matzkin, H.; Elad, D. (2000). "Predicting penile size during erection". International Journal of Impotence Research 12 (6): 328–333. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3900627. PMID 11416836.  edit
  11. ^ Morber, Jenny (2013-04-01). "The average human vagina". Double X Science. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  12. ^ Lord M 1981. Foot pressure measurement: a review of methodology. J Biomed Eng 3 91-9.
  13. ^ Gefen A 2007. Pressure-sensing devices for assessment of soft tissue loading under bony prominences: technological concepts and clinical utilization. Wounds 19 350-62.
  14. ^ Cobb J, Claremont DJ 1995. Transducers for foot pressure measurement: survey of recent developments. Med Biol Eng Comput 33 525-32.
  15. ^ Rosenbaum D, Becker HP 1997. Plantar pressure distribution measurements: technical background and clinical applications. J Foot Ankle Surg 3 1-14.
  16. ^ Orlin MN, McPoil TG 2000. Plantar pressure assessment. Phys Ther 80 399-409.
  17. ^ Birtane M, Tuna H 2004. The evaluation of plantar pressure distribution in obese and non-obese adults. Clin Biomech 19 1055-9.
  18. ^ Blanc Y, Balmer C, Landis T, Vingerhoets F 1999. Temporal parameters and patterns of the foot roll over during walking: normative data for healthy adults. Gait Posture 10 97-108.
  19. ^ Forensic Anthropology - Ancestry
  20. ^ International Ergonomics Association. What is Ergonomics. Website. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  21. ^ "Home Page of Environmental Ergonomics Society". Environmental-ergonomics.org. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  22. ^ "Biometrics: Overview". Biometrics.cse.msu.edu. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  23. ^ Jain, A., Hong, L., & Pankanti, S. (2000). "Biometric Identification". Communications of the ACM, 43(2), p. 91-98. doi:10.1145/328236.328110
  24. ^ Jain, Anil K.; Ross, Arun (2008). "Introduction to Biometrics". In Jain, AK; Flynn; Ross, A. Handbook of Biometrics. Springer. pp. 1–22. ISBN 978-0-387-71040-2. 
  25. ^ U.S. Military personnel
  26. ^ Goonetilleke, R. S., Ho, Edmond Cheuk Fan, and So, R. H. Y. (1997). Foot Anthropometry in Hong Kong . Proceedings of the ASEAN 97 Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997. pp. 81-88.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]