Body Proportions

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Body Proportions


in man, the interrelationship between the projectional dimensions and the individual parts of the human body. Body proportions are used in determining an individual’s physique, which is important in the evaluation of physical development.

Attempts to establish the regularity of body proportions, that is, the dependence of different parts of the body on a single original dimension, were first made in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome by sculptors and artists, who endeavored to reproduce the ideal type of human body.

In modern anthropology, various indexes are used extensively to characterize body proportions. In human morphology, for example, a scheme is widely used that takes into account the length of the frame and lower extremities and the width of the shoulders. The ratio of the transverse diameter (width) of the shoulders and length of the extremities to the total length of the body (height) is calculated in order to distinguish the types of body proportions. On the basis of the correlation of these dimensions, three types of proportions have been established: dolichomorphic, brachymorphic, and mesomorphic. The dolichomorphic type is characterized by a narrow and short torso and comparatively long extremities. The brachymorphic type has a wide and long torso and comparatively short extremities. The mesomorphic type is classified between the above two types.

Proportional characteristics are derived from special tables that are compiled on the basis of specific population groups; for example, some tables are based on ethnogeography, and some on age and sex. These tables take into account the actual variation patterns of body dimensions and the dependence of different parts of the body on a single original dimension; this information is not expressed in indexes and is based specifically on the principle of disproportional (heteromorphic) variations. Correlation analysis and regression analysis are used to compile tables. In comparison to an adult, a child has comparatively shorter legs, a longer torso, and a larger head. In relation to body length, a woman has a wider pelvis and narrower shoulders than a man.

There are also ethnogeographic group differences in body proportions; for example, the brachymorphic type is typical of the Eskimo, and the dolichomorphic type, of tall variants of the Negroid race.


Bunak, V. V. “Opyt tipologii proportsii tela i standartizatsii glavnykh antropometricheskikh razmerov.” Uch. zap. MGU, 1937, fase. 10.
Bashkirov, P. N. Uchenie of fizicheskom razvitii cheloveka. Moscow, 1962.


References in classic literature ?
Here he discovered a door already ajar opening into a large, circular chamber, the walls and floors of which were covered with the skins of wild beasts and with rugs of many colors; but what interested him most was the occupants of the room--a Wieroo, and a girl of human proportions.
The Greek letter [empty set] is used to represent the Golden Ratio in memory of Phidias, an ancient Greek sculptor, who used this ratio in idealising human proportions.
It is a treat to see it in the flesh, with its brown ink still sharp, and its explanatory caption--'Tanto apre Tomo nelle braccia quanto e la sua altezza' (the width of a man's outstretched arms is equal to his height)--and its central figure so brilliantly realised, at once an abstract paradigm of human proportions and a real man standing naked, with his feet tensed against the circle, and that glowering face which must surely be a self-portrait.
In Ludwig Bauer's "The Amphibrach," the focal character sees it as "a town of human proportions," but if it might have been so in the past, in the present it is almost labyrinthine.
We begin by talking about where we can find symmetry and viewing Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Vetruvian Man, which illustrates the correlations of ideal human proportions.
IN HIS TREATISE on human proportions, published in the year of his death, 1528, Albrecht Durer (born 1471) wrote that "one man may sketch something with his pen on half a sheet of paper in one day .
Because they wanted to get towards human proportions, the figures looked hideous.
Da Vinci's drawing is based on the correlations of the ideal human proportions and depicts a male figure with arms and legs apart inscribed in a circle and a square.
The perception of this phenomenon is influenced by changes in light, the passage of time, relationship of human proportions to their environment and how colour affects our understanding of space.
Translating the study's reported rat intakes to human proportions, the calories gained from high fructose corn syrup would be equivalent to about 3000 kcal/day all from that single source.
Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, and Charles Horner-Puryear builds historical unity in these principles, validating their timeless nature and memorably reinforcing them by scaling these heroes in human proportions.
It is a condemnation of hypocrisy and tradition but it also a tragedy of human proportions that is a universal parable: like Chekhov with sex.

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