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Z94.2 - Anthropometry & Biomechanics: Anthropometry Section

Intro to Anthropometry | Dynamic/Functional Dimension Terms | Static Dimension Terms | Reference Plates | Glossary

Cross Reference List | Primary Bibliography | Secondary Bibliography

 

Editorial Note: Definitions in this section are treated differently from those in the other sections, with a diagrammatic instead of strictly alphabetical listing. Anthropometry terms can be found alphabetically in the overall index. When a term is indexed as being in the Anthropometry section, the reader should refer to at least one – if not all – of the three listings in this chapter: Dimensional Terminology, Plate List, and Cross Reference List. The reader should also refer to the Glossary.

 

Static Dimension Terms

 

ARM REACH FROM WALL. The horizontal distance from the wall to the tip of the longest finger, (usually the middle finger). To measure, the subject stands erect, with heels, buttocks, and shoulders (interscapular region) pressed against a wall, with the right arm and hand extended forward horizontally and maximally in the sagittal plane. To ensure that both shoulders are equally pressed against the wall, extend both arms. By convention, the right arm is then measured.  The relevant forward distance reachable by the fingertips.

BICANTHIC DIAMETER . The maximum distance from the lateral point of the junction of the upper and lower eyelids of the right eye to the most lateral point of the junction of the upper and lower eyelids of the left eye. The relevant application is the greatest lateral distance required for proper eye protection and optical equipment, e.g., eye goggles, ophthalmic instruments.

BUTTOCK DEPTH. The horizontal distance between the buttocks and the abdomen at the level of the maximum protrusion of the buttocks. To measure, the subject stands erect. The relevant application is fore and aft space at buttock level while the subject is standing, e.g., turnstile design.

BUTTOCK-KNEE LENGTH. The horizontal distance from the most posterior point on the buttocks to the most anterior point on the knee. To measure, the subject sits erect with each knee at a right angle, with the upper leg parallel to the floor, and feet flat on the floor. The relevant application is for establishing the distance between the seat back and objects located in front of the knees. It is a static, minimum or clearance dimension, e.g., airplane seat spacing.

BUTTOCK-LEG LENGTH. The horizontal distance from the most posterior point on the buttocks to the base of the heel. To measure, the subject sits erect on the floor with the knee fully extended and the ankle at 90°. The relevant application is clearance for the outstretched leg, e.g., wheelchair design, examination tables.

BUTTOCK-POPLITEAL LENGTH. The horizontal distance from the plane of the most posterior point on the buttocks to the back of the lower leg at the knee. To measure, the subject sits erect with the knees at right angles, with the upper leg parallel to the floor, and feet flat on the floor. The relevant application is for determining maximum seat depth. Too long a seat will severely discommode  short-legged operators, e.g., chair depth.

CHEEK BREADTH . The maximum distance between the most laterally situated points on the zygomatic arches (cheekbones) (Bizygomatic breadth). The relevant application is the greatest distance between the outermost points of the cheekbones, e.g., helmet design.

CHEST BREADTH. On males, the horizontal frontal distance across the chest at nipple level, and on females, at the level where the fourth rib meets the breastbone. To measure, the subject stands erect, breathes normally, and has the arms hanging naturally at the sides.  The dimension is the maximal measurement at quiet inspiration.  The relevant application is for determining maximum lateral space available at chest level, e.g., clothing.

CHEST DEPTH . On males, the horizontal distance from front to back of the chest at nipple level and on females, above the breasts, at the level where the fourth rib meets the sternum or breastbone. To measure, the subject stands erect, breathing normally.  The dimension is the maximal measurement at quiet inspiration.  The relevant application is fore and aft space available at chest level.

EAR BREADTH. With the subject's head oriented in the Frankfort plane, the distance between the points where an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the long axis of the external ear meets the most anterior point and the most posterior point of the external ear. The relevant application is the maximum breadth of the ear, e.g., earphone design.

EAR HEIGHT. With the subject's head oriented in the Frankfort plane, the distance between the highest point of the incurved rim of the external ear and the lowest point on the inferior border of the ear lobe. The relevant application is the maximum height of the ear, e.g., earphone design.

ELBOW-TO-ELBOW BREADTH. The maximum horizontal distance between the lateral surfaces of the elbows. To measure, the subject sits erect with the upper arms vertical and lightly touching the sides, and the forearms extended horizontally.  A relevant application is, passage-way design.

ELBOW HEIGHT. The vertical distance from the floor to the radiale (the depression at the elbow formed where the bones of the upper arm and forearm meet). To measure, the subject stands erect with the arms hanging naturally at the sides. The relevant application is work or rest surface height, the vertical distance between the floor and table tops, e.g., desks and workbenches used in the standing position.

ELBOW REST HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the sitting surface to the bottom of the right elbow. To measure, the subject sits erect with the upper arm vertical at the side, forearm at a right angle to the upper arm. The relevant application is for determining the vertical distance between the seat surface and the top surface of an elbow rest, e.g., arm rest in seating design.

EXTRACANTHIC DIAMETER. The distance between the lateral (outer) and the medial (inner) corners of each eye. This measurement should be taken on both the right and left eyes. The relevant application is the greatest width of the eye, e.g., binocular equipment, telescopes.

EYE HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the sitting surface to the lateral (outer) corner of the eye (ectocanthus). To measure, the subject sits erect and looks straight ahead. The relevant application is seated eye level, or the vertical distance between the seat surface and the eye, e.g., location of primary functions, i.e., control panels, observation windows, cockpit design, vehicular design.

EYE HEIGHT, STANDING. The vertical distance from the floor to the lateral (outer) corner of the eye (ectocanthus). To measure, the subject stands erect and looks straight ahead. The relevant application is eye level, or the vertical distance from the floor to the eye position which affords the best visual field to the standing subject, e.g., standing control panels for the placement of primary visual functions.

FACIAL LENGTH. The distance between the midpoint on the forehead and the lowest median point on the lower border of the mandible. The relevant application is the greatest distance from the top point of the forehead to the outermost point of the chin, e.g., full face masks, helmets.

FINGER LENGTH.  The length of the right middle finger (digit 3) is the distance from the finger tip to the lower crease on the palmar side (Metacarpal-phalangeal joint crease).  The relevant application is the longest finger length, e.g., gloves.

FOOT BREADTH. The maximum horizontal distance across the foot. To measure, the subject stands with weight equally distributed on both feet. The relevant application is for determining lateral space available for the foot, e.g., shoe size, brake pedal width, foot control width.

FOOT LENGTH.  The maximum horizontal distance parallel to the long axis of the foot, from the back of the heel to the tip of the longest toe. To measure, the subject stands with weight equally distributed on both feet. The relevant application is for determining fore and  aft space available for the foot, e.g., shoe size, brake pedal length, foot control length.

FOREARM-HAND LENGTH. The horizontal distance from the tip of the right elbow to the tip of the longest finger. To measure, the subject sits erect with the upper right arm vertical at the side and the forearm, hand and fingers extended horizontally. The relevant application is for determining the maximum fingertip reach from a fixed elbow point, e.g., hand control location, arm rest length.

FRANKFORT PLANE.  The landmark called the Frankfort plane is a standard plane for orientation of the head.  It is established by a line passing through the tragion (approximately the earhole) and the lowest point of the eye socket (infraorbitale).  The relevant application is as a landmark for various dimensions.

HAND BREADTH AT METACARPAL. The maximum breadth across the hand where the fingers join the palm. To measure, the right hand is extended straight and stiff with the fingers held together. The relevant application is for determining the breadth available for palm, with fingers extended, e.g., handle widths.

HAND LENGTH. The distance from the wrist crease (palmar side) to the middle fingertip of the right hand extended straight on the arm. To measure, the right hand and lower arm is extended straight and stiff with the fingers held together. The relevant application is for determining maximum fingertip reach from the wrist, e.g., gloves.

HAND THICKNESS AT METACARPAL III. The maximum distance between the back and palm surfaces of the hand at the knuckle (metacarpal-phalangeal joint) of the middle finger where it joins the palm of the right hand when the fingers are extended. To measure, the right hand is extended straight and stiff with the fingers held together. The relevant application is the space available for the flat palm. More space is required for the whole hand than the palm alone, since the muscle masses at the bases of the thumb and the little finger, (the thenar and hypothenar eminences) increase hand thickness, e.g., handles, refrigerator doors.

HEAD BREADTH (VIII, 38). The maximum horizontal head breadth above the ears, at right angles to the mid-sagittal plane. The location of this dimension is highly variable. To measure, the subject is sitting erect, looking forward. The relevant application is the breadth across the head or the lateral space available for the head above the ears, e.g., headrests, earphones, helmets.

HEAD LENGTH. The distance between the most anterior point on the forehead (between the brow ridges) and the most posterior point, on the back of the head, in the midline, To measure, the subject is sitting erect, looking forward. The relevant application is head length or the space available between the front and the back of the head, e.g., head gear.

HEAD LENGTH, MAXIMUM. The distance between the most anterior point of the nose and the most posterior point on the back of the head, in the midline. To measure, the subject sits erect looking forward. The relevant application is maximum head length, or the space available between the tip of the nose and the back of the head, e.g., face guards.

HIP BREADTH, SITTING. The maximum horizontal distance across the hips when seated. To measure, the subject sits erect, knees and ankles supported at right angles; knees and heels together. The relevant application is the space available across the hips, e.g., seat breadth.

HIP BREADTH, STANDING. The maximum horizontal distance across the hips. To measure, the subject stands erect, with heels together. The relevant application is the lateral space available at the level of the hips, while the person is standing, e.g., turnstile aisles.

INTERPUPILLARY. The distance between the centers of the pupils. To measure, the subject sits erect and looks straight ahead. The relevant application is binocular spacing or the separation distance between binocular eyepieces, e.g., sighting stations, stereoscopic photogrammetry, microscopy, etc.

JAW BREADTH. The straight-line distance between the right and left angles where the body of the mandible and the ascending ramus meet (Bigonial breadth). To measure, the subject's head is tilted slightly upwards; the angle of the mandible is usually palpated both anteriorly and inferiorly from the lowest point of the ear lobes. The relevant application is the greatest distance on the outermost points of the jaw, e.g., partial face masks, chin straps.

JAW HEIGHT, TOTAL. The distance in the midline or sagittal plane between the point at which the nasal septum merges with the upper cutaneous tip (subnasal) and the lowest median point on the lower border of the mandible (menton). The relevant application is the greatest distance between the bottom of the nose and the lowest point on the chin, e.g., face masks.

KNEE HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the floor to the uppermost point on the knee. To measure, the subject sits erect with his knees at right angles. The relevant application is the space available above the knees, e.g., car dashboards, knee clearance in table heights.

KNEE-TO-KNEE BREADTH, SITTING. The maximum horizontal distance across the lateral surfaces of the knees. To measure, the subject sits erect with his knees at right angles and touching lightly. The relevant application is the space available for determining knee clearance, e.g., cockpit clearance.

KNUCKLE HEIGHT. The vertical distance from the floor to the largest knuckle of the middle finger, where the finger meets the palm (metacarpal-phalangeal joint of digit 3). To measure, the subject stands erect, palm flat against the side of the thigh. The relevant application is for determining the maximum permissible vertical distance between the base of an object and the underside of an attached carrying handle, e.g., suitcases.

LOWER ARM LENGTH. The distance from the elbow to the wrist joint when the arm is hanging down and the palm facing inward. To measure, the subject stands erect with the arms hanging freely at the sides. The relevant application is for determining the length of the lower arm, e.g., clothing design.

MAXIMUM BODY BREADTH. The maximum breadth across the body including the arms. To measure, the subject stands erect with arms hanging relaxed at the sides. The relevant application is for determining passage clearances, e.g., door width.

MAXIMUM BODY DEPTH. The maximum horizontal distance between the vertical lines tangent to the most anterior and posterior points on the trunk. To measure, the subject stands erect with the arms at the sides. The relevant application is as a minimum clearance dimension of the body, e.g., passage clearance.

MOUTH BREADTH, MAXIMUM. The distance between the two most lateral points on the mouth when the lips are joined together and the mouth is in a relaxed state. The relevant application is the greatest distance from the  outermost edges of the lips across the mouth, e.g., the design of mouthpieces.

NASAL BREADTH. With the subject's head tilted slightly upwards, the maximum transverse distance between the most laterally situated points on the wings of the nose. The relevant application is the greatest distance between the outer edges of the lower part of the nose, e.g., nose plugs, eye glass frames.

NASAL HEIGHT.  With the subject's head tilted slightly upwards, the distance between sellion and the point where the nasal septum merges with the upper cutaneous lip (subnasale landmark). The relevant application is the greatest distance from the bridge of the nose to the underside of the nose, e.g., face masks.

NOSE BRIDGE HEIGHT. The distance between the sellion and the lowest median point on the lower border of the mandible or jaw (Menton-Sellion length). The relevant application is the greatest distance between the bridge of the nose and the lowest edge of the chin, e.g., full face masks.

POPLITEAL HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the floor to the underside of the thigh immediately behind the knee. To measure, the subject sits erect with knees at right angles and the bottom of the thighs and the back of the knees barely touching the sitting surface. The relevant application is the measurement of the vertical distance between the floor and the highest point on the front of the sitting surface, e.g., seat height, i.e., secretarial chairs.

SHOULDER BREADTH. The maximum horizontal distance across the lateral surfaces of the shoulders. To measure, the subject sits erect with upper arms touching the sides and the forearms extended horizontally. The relevant application is for measuring the space available across the shoulders, e.g., shoulder pads.

SHOULDER ELBOW LENGTH. The uppermost point on the lateral edge of the shoulder to the bottom of the elbow. The subject sits erect with his upper arm vertical at his side and the forearm making a right angle with it. The relevant application is the distance between objects located at or above the shoulder as well as at or below the elbow. It is a minimum clearance dimension, e.g., accessories and equipment hung from the shoulder.

SHOULDER HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the sitting surfaces to the uppermost point on the lateral edge of the shoulder with the subject sitting erect. The relevant application is for determining the vertical distance between the seat surface and objects located at or above the shoulder, e.g., seat-back design.

SHOULDER HEIGHT, STANDING. The vertical distance from the floor to the uppermost point on the lateral edge of the shoulder with the subject standing erect. The relevant application is the total distance from the floor to the shoulder, e.g., standing control position, shelf height.

SITTING HEIGHT. The vertical distance from the sitting surface to the top of the head. To measure, the subject sits erect, looking straight ahead, with the knees at right angles. The relevant application is the greatest distance between the seat and the top of the head, e.g., furniture design.

STATURE. The vertical distance from the floor to the top of the head (vertex). To measure, the subject stands erect and looks straight ahead. The relevant application is the maximum height of an individual, e.g., the minimum standing clearance in the workspace.

THIGH CLEARANCE HEIGHT, SITTING. The vertical distance from the sitting surface to the top of the thigh at its intersection with the abdomen. The subject sits erect with his knees at right angles. The relevant application is the maximum distance between the seat and the top of the thigh, e.g., table and chair height relationships.

UNDEREYE HEIGHT. With the subject's head in the Frankfort plane, the distance in the midline or sagittal plane between the lowest point on the inferior border of the orbit as palpated through the skin and the top of the head. The relevant application is the greatest distance between the top of the head and the lower orbit of the eye, e.g., headgear, goggles.

WAIST DEPTH. The horizontal distance between the back and abdomen at the level of the greatest lateral indentation of the waist; (if this is not apparent, at the level at which the belt is worn). To measure, the subject stands erect with his abdomen relaxed. The relevant application is for determining the fore and aft space at abdominal level; clearances between the operator's back and control stick, steering wheel, and work surfaces are examples.

WRIST-THUMBTIP LENGTH.  The distance from the wrist crease (palmar side) to the tip of the thumb.  The relevant application is the length of the thumb from the wrist crease, e.g., the limiting factor in pinch length and gloves.

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