What is the definition of anthropometry ? The definition of anthropometry is based on Greek words of antropos and metrikos which mean ”human” and “measurement” and is the science of organizing, deriving and analyzing human body parts measurement data statically in order to be used in related fields. These fields are in a wide range from medical sciences, training and sports mechanics to nutrition products.

Anthropometry is a vital part of ergonomy applications that are focused on individual differences and supplies important references and inputs for various design disciplines. Anthropometry is one of main design concern for products that contain human body interface like seats, consoles, ATM, inner vehicle volumes, cell phones, gamepads…etc.

Variations of humans due to their races, geographic locations and even gender are the ultimate obstacles for a successive user based design. For example; a design which perfectly fits for %90 of American customers, will only fit %80 of French customers, %65 of Italian customers, %45 of Japanese customers, %10 of Vietnamese customers if ergonomic and anthropometric approach is not applied.

So national anthropometric databases are needed for worldwide products. These databases must contain thousands of specimen and statically derived populations depending on the measurements.

Some measured par illustrations and measurement data from AGARD-205 which contains measurements American Air force personnel and German Air Force personnel in 1960 are shown below:

Examples from the content of AGARD-205
Examples from the content of AGARD-205
Examples from the content of AGARD-205

These statically reorganized data are mostly bell-shaped curves of function that depends on mean value and standard deviation parameters as given in figure below.

Examples from the content of AGARD-205
A Bell-shaped Curve of Statically Organized Data

These curves get more meaning when statically labeled as below:

Examples from the content of AGARD-205
A Bell-shaped Curve of Statically Labeled

There are various standards and anthropometric measurement studies which will be covered briefly in following chapters but it must be clearly understood that all these standards and anthropometric data need specialty to be used or commented correctly.

  • Pheasant, S. , Haslegrave, C. M. (2006) . Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and the Design of Work . (3rd edition), CRC Press
  • MIL-STD-46855 Human Engineering Requirements for Military Systems, Equipment, and Facilities (2011)
  • MIL-HDBK-759 Human Engineering Design Guidelines (2012)
  • MIL-STD-1472 Human Engineering (2012)
  • MIL-HDBK-1908 Definitions of Human Factors Terms (1999)