Anatomical Science International

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 180–187 | Cite as

Study on the adult physique with the Heath-Carter anthropometric somatotype in the Han of Xi’an, China

  • Li-Tao Yang
  • Ning Wang
  • Zeng-Xian Li
  • Cui Liu
  • Xin He
  • Jian-Fei Zhang
  • Hua Han
  • You-Feng Wen
  • Yi-Hua QianEmail author
  • Huan-Jiu XiEmail author
Original Article


The study of somatotypes has important significance for medical and physical anthropology as well as sports science. The aim of this study was to understand the somatotype components of the Han population in Xi’an and compare the somatotypes of the Han and five other nationalities in China. The study sample consisted of 429 people of Han nationality (207 males, 222 females) from Xi’an, China, aged ≥20 years old. The Heath-Carter anthropometric method was employed. We evaluated the differences in age and sex by one-way ANOVA and t test. A comparison of somatotypes between the Han and other nationalities was made using the U test. The results showed that the male and female samples all could be classified as having a mesomorphic endomorph profile. The difference in endomorphy was strongest between sexes in all age groups (P < 0.01). There were prominent differences in mesomorphy and ectomorphy between males and females in the 50–59- and ≥60-year-old age groups. In females, the differences in somatotype components appeared to be distinguished between ages (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05). However, in males, there were prominent differences in somatotype components between the 20–29 year olds and all other age groups (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05) except for between those 20–29 and ≥60 years old in endomorphy. Compared with the other five nationalities, there were prominent differences in somatotype components between males and females. These results suggest that the somatotype of the Han population in Xi’an, China, has a predominantly mesomorphic endomorph profile. The endomorphic component shows distinct differences between ages and genders, respectively. Additionally, there are distinct differences in the somatotype components between Xi’an Han and five other nationalities in China in males and females.


Somatotype Anthropometry Han nationality Xi’an, China 



This work was supported by a grant from the Key Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30830062 to Lian-Bin Zheng and Huan-Jiu Xi).

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li-Tao Yang
    • 1
  • Ning Wang
    • 1
  • Zeng-Xian Li
    • 1
  • Cui Liu
    • 1
  • Xin He
    • 1
  • Jian-Fei Zhang
    • 1
  • Hua Han
    • 1
  • You-Feng Wen
    • 2
  • Yi-Hua Qian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Huan-Jiu Xi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Human Anatomy and Histology-Embryology, Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases of Education MinistryXi’an Jiaotong University Health Science CenterXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Biological Anthropology Research Institute of Liaoning Medical CollegeJinzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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