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What is Anthropometry?

Derived from the two Greek word anthropo(s) - human and metricos - of
or pertaining to measurement.

It is the study of measurements or proportions of the human body.

The ergonomist (a person that studies ergonomics, from the Greek: ergon
- work; nomos – natural laws) therefore, uses anthropomteric data to
ensure, quite literally, that the machine or the environment fits the person.

Why Anthropometry?
Whenever the human operator has to interact with the environment it is
important to have details of the dimensions of the appropriate body part.
Hence, measurement of human body is the key importance for any kind of

Anthropometrics is used as the basis for many regulations and for

positioning and sizing building elements. For example stairs, furniture,
doors, signs, handles, plumbing fixtures, are all sized and positioned
to be comfortable and convenient for average sized people. 

Example :
Child care centre:
Toilets and basins for the children are at lower levels and are of
smaller sizes. This is because the average user is smaller.
An adult sized user will find it uncomfortable and awkward to use
these facilities.

Failure due to negligence of Anthropometry
Why Anthropometry has variability?
The wide distribution of body dimensions and shapes which maybe
encountered in a population can often be due to slight genetic
differences, age, sex and sometimes culture.

Age of the person determines the height

and reach of the individual and thus
becomes an important part of
Anthropometry study in architecture.
The movement of postures of the body
differs in the male and female body. This
use and body dimension is specially
Gender used for designing toilets.

Many cultures have different postures for

various activities such as food, praying,
entrance to door. these difference lead
to difference in the anthropometry study
Culture for design.
Types of Anthropometry -
Structural Anthropometry (often called as Static Anthropometry) –
deals with simple dimensions of the stationary human being.
e.g. Weight, stature and the lengths, breadths, depths and
circumferences of particular body structures.

Body Dimensions
Types of Anthropometry -
Functional Anthropometry (Dynamic Anthropometry) – deals with
compound measurements of the moving human being.
e.g. Reach and the angular ranges of various joints.

Body Dimensions
Measure of Anthropometry -
Exercise -
Team of 5 students to measure one individual from the group and make
anthropometry chart, in various positions.
- sitting (different positions)
- standing (with all movements of hands and legs)
- sleeping