Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(ănthrəpŏm`ətrē), technique of measuring the human body in terms of dimensions, proportions, and ratios such as those provided by the cephalic indexcephalic index
[Gr. kephale=head], ratio of the breadth of the head to its length. Expressed as a percental number, it provides the simplest description of the geometric relation of two dimensions.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Once the standard approach to racial classification and comparing humans to other primates, the technique is now used for deciding the range of clothing sizes to be manufactured and determining the nutritional status of people.


See A. Montagu, A Handbook of Anthropometry (1960); R. McCammon, Human Growth and Development (1970).



a combination of methodological procedures in anthropological research, consisting of the measurement and description (anthroposcopy) of the entire human body and its individual parts, thereby yielding a quantitative index of their variability.

The comprehensive nature of anthropometric research permits the evaluation and comparison of feature variability among different racial, age, professional, and sexual groups based on measurements from a large number of individuals. The origin of anthropometry as a scientific method dates to the 19th century and is associated with the well-known French anthropologist P. Broca. Significant contributions to its further development were made by foreign (R. Martin and others) and Soviet anthropologists (V. V. Bunak, A. I. Iarkho, and others). Features are distinguished by measurements and by description. The former are determined with the aid of anthropological instruments (anthropometers, spreading and sliding calipers, tapes, and so forth). A measurement is taken between precisely fixed anthropometric points which represent parts of the external body structure that are relatively

easily accessible for observation. Total dimensions of the body (body length, mass, and chest circumference) and partial dimensions (width of the foot, length of the wrist, and so forth) are selected. Determination of descriptive features (shapes of body parts, facial features, skin pigmentation, hair and eye coloring, hair structure, and so forth) is done with the aid of scales, molds, and schematic drawings constructed on the basis of precisely delimited criteria. For example, V. V. Bunak’s eye-color scale allows for 12 variations of iris pigmentation, and the Fisher-Sailer hair-color scale differentiates 40 shades. The methods of anthropological photography find wide application in anthropometry.

There is a characteristic tendency in anthropometry to replace descriptive features with more precise measurements and to introduce modern methods of analysis (X rays, ultrasonics, and labeled compounds). The selection of anthropometric methods, points, and features is dictated by the aims of the specific anthropological study. In race studies and ethnic anthropology the head, face, cranium, and body length are measured, and color scales are used for the eyes, skin, hair, and so forth, in order to differentiate racial types. In human morphology, and particularly in the study of physical development, the characteristics of bulk, body length (growth), and other measures of length, diameter, and circumference are taken into consideration. On the basis of these measurements, scales are constructed that enable one to determine the degree of physical development in individuals and in different population groups.

The data gathered in the process of an anthropometric investigation are subject to statistical variation (biometric) analysis and are presented in the form of tables, graphs, and diagrams. The standardization of articles for mass production (for example, clothing and footwear) and the efficient layout of work spaces are also based on anthropometric data. In addition, anthropometric data are used in criminal law for the description and identification of criminals.


Bunak, V. V. Antropometriia: Prakticheskii kurs. Moscow, 1941.



Description of the physical variation in humankind by measurement; a basic technique of physical anthropology.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are two parts of data analyses: first, from the subjective rating of 45 participants and second, the comparisons of car dimensions with anthropometry data of the 1216 participants.
National health and nutrition examination survey anthropometry procedures manual.
Reliability of external ear measurements obtained by direct, photocopier scanning and photo anthropometry.
1990) claimed that this geometric model can estimate the BSIPs of groups not necessarily matching the anthropometry of the cohort used to derive the equations.
Physical Status: The Use and Interpretation of Anthropometry.
Other chapters contain similar summaries by the Army's established experts: COL (Ret) Wayne Askew discusses the area of field nutrition research which provided the scientific basis for modern field feeding concepts and rations, such as the First Strike Ration; Dr Jim Stuhmiller presents blast model research that helps acquisition managers evaluate safety concerns for current and future high-powered weapons systems; MAJ (Ret) Joe Knapik describes load carriage research that has led to the current designs of load handling systems including rucksacks that accommodate gender differences in anthropometry and strength; and Dr Bill Santee discusses thermal strain modeling that provides modern tools to prevent heat injury and maximize Soldier effectiveness in the heat.
Relationship between Anthropometry and Motor Abilities at pre-School Age.
We had low coverage of anthropometry measurements in the first year but, with time, more field workers were employed and trained and the coverage improved.
Anthropometry or the measurement of body's dimensions is a subcategory of physical anthropology and it is related to the different parts of body's dimensions, body's movements and the strength of muscles [13].
Resected femoral anthropometry for design of the femoral component of the total knee prosthesis in a Korean population, Anat Cell Biol.
The anthropometry evaluates the characteristics by the objective tools, and is expressed by length measures, circumferences, arches, axes, weight, etc.