The Methods of Auxological Anthropometry

  • Noël Cameron


Anthropometry is the technique of expressing quantitatively the form of the body. Hrdlicka (1947) defines it as a system of techniques, the systematized art of measuring and taking observations on man, his skeleton, his brain, and other organs, by the most reliable means and methods for scientific purposes. It is limited only by the problems to which it is applied and no treatise, however large, can account for all the factors present in an original study. Time and again the anthropometrist will be presented with problems for which there are no guidelines, and he, alone or in discussion with his colleagues, must find satisfactory solutions.


Medial Malleolus Field Technique Calf Circumference Center Ofrotation Forearm Length 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amhold, R., 1969, The Quac Stick: A field measure used by the Quaker service team, Nigeria, J. Trop. Pediatr. 15: 243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashe, W. R., and Ashe, H. F., 1943, Anthropometric Measurements, Project 9, No. 741–3, Armored Force Medical Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Medical Research Laboratory, Fort Knox, Kentucky.Google Scholar
  3. Bayley, N., 1940, Studies in the Development of Young Children, University of California Press, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  4. Bayley, N., and Pinneau, S. R., 1952, Tables for predicting adult height from skeletal age: Revised for use with the Greulich—Pyle hand standards, J. Pediatr. 40: 423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beard, L. F. H., and Burke, P. H., 1967, Evolution of a system of stereophotogrammetry for the study of facial morphology, Med. Biol. Illus. 17: 20.Google Scholar
  6. Burke, P. H., 1971, Stereophotogrammetric measurement of normal facial asymmetry in children, Hum. Biol. 43: 536.Google Scholar
  7. Buzina, R., and Uemura, K., 1974, Selection of the minimal anthropometric characteristics to assess nutritional status, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 49: 271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cameron, N., Hughes, P. C. R., and Whitehouse, R. H., 1976, The reliability of certain limb measurements in adolescents (unpublished data).Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, H. H., Geser, L. R., and Hundson, S. B., 1956, Comparison of upper arm measurements by use of roentgenogram and anthropometric techniques, Res. Q. Am. Assoc. Hlth. Phys. Educ. 27: 379.Google Scholar
  10. Collignon, R., 1892, Projet d’entente internationale au sujet des researches anthropometriques dans les conseils de revision, Bull. Soc. Anthropol. Paris, Ser. 43: 186.Google Scholar
  11. Comas, J., 1960, Manual of Physical Anthropology, English edition, Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.Google Scholar
  12. Damar, A., and Goldman, R. F., 1964, Predicting fat from body measurements: Densitometric evaluation of ten anthropometric equations, Hum. Biol. 36: 32.Google Scholar
  13. Daniels, G. S., Meyers, H. C., and Worrall, S. H., 1953, Anthropometry of WAF Basic Trainees, Technical Report 53–12, Wright Air Development Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.Google Scholar
  14. Davies, D. P., and Holding, R. E., 1972, Neonatometer: A new infant length measurer. Arch. Dis. Child. 47: 938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duckworth, W. L. H., 1912, The International Agreement for the Unification of Anthropometric Measurements to Be Made on the Living Subject (English translation of the official version), Anthropology Laboratory, University New Museum, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  16. Dupertuis, G. W., and Tanner, J. M., 1950, The pose of the subject for photogrammetric anthropometry, with special reference to somatotyping, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 8: 27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Durnin, J. V. G. A., and Rahaman, M. M., 1967, The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness, Br. J. Nutr. 21: 681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Durnin, J. V. G. A., and Womersley, J., 1974, Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: Measurements on 481 males and females aged from 16 to 27 years, Br. J. Nutr. 32: 77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Edwards, D. A. W., 1950, Observations on the distribution of subcutaneous fat, Clin. Sci. 9: 259.Google Scholar
  20. Edwards, D. A. W., 1955, The estimation of the proportion of fat in the body by the measurement of skinfold thicknesses, Voeding 16: 57.Google Scholar
  21. Edwards, D. A. W., Hammond, W. H., Healy, M. J. R., Tanner, J. M., and Whitehouse, R. H., 1955, Design and accuracy of calipers for measuring subcutaneous tissue thickness, Br. J. Nutr. 9: 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Falkner, F., 1961, Office measurement of physical growth, Pediatr. Clin. North Am. 8: 13.Google Scholar
  23. Falkner, F., 1966, Human Development, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  24. Fleming, R. M., 1933, Special Report Senior Medical Research Council No. 190, in: J. M. Tanner, 1952, The assessment of growth and development in children, Arch. Dis. Child. 27: 10.Google Scholar
  25. Garn, S. M., 1961, Radiographic analysis of body composition, in: Techniques for Measuring Body Composition ( J. Brozek and A. Henschel, eds.), National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  26. Garn, S. M., 1962, Automation in anthropometry, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 20: 387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Garn, S. M., and Gorman, E. L., 1956, Comparison of pinch-caliper and teleroentgenogrammetric measurements of subcutaneous fat, Hum. Biol. 28: 4.Google Scholar
  28. Garn, S. M., and Heimrich, R. H., 1967, Next step in automated anthropometry, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 26: 97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Garrett, J. W., 1969a, Anthropometry of the Air Force Female Hand, AMRL-TR-69–26. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.Google Scholar
  30. Garrett, J. W., 1969b, Anthropometry of the Hands of Male Air Force Flight Personnel, AMRL-TR-69–42. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.Google Scholar
  31. Garrett, J. W., and Kennedy, K. W., 1971, A Collation of Anthropometry, Vols. I and II, Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Aerospace Medical Division, Air Force Systems Commands Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 74–607818.Google Scholar
  32. Gavan, J. A., 1950, The consistency of anthropometric measurements, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 8: 417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gavan, J. A., Washburn, S. L., and Lewis, P. H., 1952, Photography: An anthropometric tool, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 10: 331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gessell, A., and Thompson, H., 1938, The Psychology of Early Growth, Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  35. Gifford, E. C., Provost, J. R., and Lazo, J., 1965, Anthropometry of Naval Aviators-1964. NAEZ-ACEL-533, Aerospace Crew Equipment Laboratory, U.S. Naval Air Engineering Center, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  36. Hamill, P. V. V., Johnston, F. E., and Lemeshow, S., 1973, Height and Weight of Youths 12–17 Years: United States, U.S. Dept. HEW Publ. (HSM)73–1606, Rockville, Md.Google Scholar
  37. Hansen, R., and Cornag, D. Y., 1958, Annotated Bibliography of Applied Physical Anthropology in Human Engineering, Technical Report 56–30, Aero Medical Laboratory, Wright Air Development Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.Google Scholar
  38. Healy, M. J. R., 1958, Variations within individuals in human biology, Hum. Biol. 30: 210.Google Scholar
  39. Hertzberg, H. T. E., 1968, Report: The conference on standardisation of anthropometric techniques and terminology, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 28: 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hertzberg, H. T. E., Dupertuis, C. W., and Emanuel, I., 1957, Stereophotogrammetry as an anthropometric tool, Photogramm. Eng. 1957: 942.Google Scholar
  41. Hertzberg, H. T. E., Churchill, E., Dupertuis, C. W., White, R. M., and Damon, A., 1963, Anthropometric Survey of Turkey, Greece and Italy, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  42. Hoerr, N. L., Pyle, S. I., and Francis, C. C., 1962, Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Foot and Ankle, Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.Google Scholar
  43. Hrdlicka, A., 1947, Hrdlicka’s Practical Anthropometry, 3rd ed. ( T. D. Stewart, ed.), The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  44. Jordan, J., Ruben, M., Hernandez, J., Bebelagua, A., Tanner, J. M., and Goldstein, H., 1975, The 1972 Cuban National Child Growth Study as an example of population health monitoring: Design and methods, Ann. Hum. Biol. 2: 153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kay, W. C., 1961, Anthropometry of the ROKAF Pilots, Repub. Korea Air Force J. Aviat. Med. 9: 61.Google Scholar
  46. Kemper, H. C. G., and Pieters, J. J. L., 1974, Comparative study of anthropometric measurements of the same subjects in two different institutes, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 40: 341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Knott, V. B., 1941, Physical measurements of young children, Univ. Iowa Stud. Child Welfare 18: 3.Google Scholar
  48. Krogman, W. M., 1950, A handbook of the measurement and interpretation of height and weight in the growing child, Child Dev. Monogr. 13: 3.Google Scholar
  49. Loewenstein, M. S., and Phillips, J. F., 1973, Evaluation of arm circumference measurement for determining nutritional status of children and its use in acute epidemics of malnutrition: Omeri, Nigeria, following the Nigerian Civil War, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 26: 226.Google Scholar
  50. Marshall, W. A., 1966, Basic anthropometric measurements, in: Somatic Growth of the Child ( J. J. van der Werff ten Bosch and A. Haak, eds.), Leiden, Stenfert Kroese, N. V.Google Scholar
  51. Marshall, W. A., and Ahmed, L., 1976, Variation in upper arm length and forearm length in normal British girls: Photogrammetric standards, Ann. Hum. Biol. 3: 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Martin, R., 1914, Lehrbuch der Anthropologie, Verlag von Gustav Fischer, Jena.Google Scholar
  53. Martin, R., and Sailer, K., 1957, Lehrbuch der Anthropologie, Band 1, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  54. Martorell, R., Habicht, J.-P., Yarbrough, C., Guzman, G., and Klein, R. E., 1975, The identification and evaluation of measurement variability in the anthropometry of pre-school children, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 43: 352.Google Scholar
  55. Meadows, D. M., Johnson, W. O., and Allen, J. B., 1940, Generation of surface contours by moiré pattern, Appl. Opt. 9: 942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Meredith, H. V., 1936, The reliability of anthropometric measurements taken on eight-and nine-year-old white males, Child Dev. 7: 262.Google Scholar
  57. Miskin, E. A., 1960, Simple photogrammetric methods in medicine, Med. Biol. Illus. 10: 230.Google Scholar
  58. Montagu, M. F. A., 1960, A Handbook of Anthropometry, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.Google Scholar
  59. Morley, D., 1974, Measuring malnutrition, Lancet 1: 758.Google Scholar
  60. Oberman, A., 1965, The thousand aviator study: Distributions and intercorrelations of selected variables, Monogr. 12, U.S. Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, U.S. Naval Aviation Center, Pensacola, Florida.Google Scholar
  61. O’Brien, R., and Shelton, W. C., 1941, Women’s measurements for garment and pattern construction, Miscellaneous Publ. No. 454, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Work Projects Administration, Bureau of Home Economics, Textiles and Clothing Division, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  62. Oshima, M., 1962, quoted in Garrett and Kennedy, 1971.Google Scholar
  63. Parizkova, J., and Goldstein, H., 1970, A comparison of skinfold measurements using the Best and Harpenden calipers, Hum. Biol. 42: 436.Google Scholar
  64. Parizkova, J., and Roth, Z, 1972, The assessment of depot fat in children from skinfold thickness measurements by Holtain (Tanner/Whitehouse) calipers, Hum. Biol. 44: 613.Google Scholar
  65. Peters, C. C., and Van Voorhis, W. R., 1939, Statistical Procedures and Their Mathematical Bases, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  66. Prahl-Andersen, B., Pollmann, A J, Raaken, D. J., and Peters, K. A., 1972, Automated anthropometry, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 37: 151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pyle, S. I., and Hoerr, N. L., 1955, Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Knee, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.Google Scholar
  68. Randell, F. E., and Baer, M. J., 1951, Survey of body size of army personnel, male and female methodology. Report 122, Office of the Quartermaster General, Research and Development Division, Quartermaster Climatic Research Laboratory, Lawrence, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  69. Randell, F. E., Damon, A., Benton, R. S., and Patt, D. I., 1946, Human body size in military aircraft and personnel equipment, AAF Technical Report 5501, Air Material Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.Google Scholar
  70. Reynolds, E. L., 1944, Differential tissue growth in the leg during childhood, Child Dev. 15: 181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Roche, A. F., and Davila, G. H., 1974, Differences between recumbent length and stature within individuals, Growth 38: 3.Google Scholar
  72. Ruiz, L., Colley, J. R. T., and Hamilton, P. J. S., 1971, Measurement of triceps skinfold thickness, Br. J. Prey. Soc. Med. 25: 165.Google Scholar
  73. Sastry, J. G., and Vijayavaghaven, K., 1973, Use of anthropometry in grading malnutrition in children, Indian J. Med. Res. 61: 1225.Google Scholar
  74. Scammon, R. E., 1927, The first seriatum study of human growth, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 10: 329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sheldon, W. H., 1940, The Varieties of Human Physique, Harpers, New York.Google Scholar
  76. Sheldon, W. H., 1954, Atlas of Men, Harpers, New York.Google Scholar
  77. Shuttleworth, F. K., 1937, Sexual maturation and the physical growth of girls aged six to sixteen, Child Dell. Monogr. 2: 1.Google Scholar
  78. Simmons, K., 1944, The Brush Foundation study of child growth and development, II. Physical growth and development, Child Del). Monogr. 9: 1.Google Scholar
  79. Sloane, A. N., and Shapiro, M., 1972, A comparison of skinfold measurements with three standard calipers, Hum. Biol. 44: 29.Google Scholar
  80. Snow, C. C., and Snyder, R. G., 1965, Anthropometry of air traffic control trainees. AM 65–26, Federal Aviation Agency, Office of Aviation Medicine, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  81. Spielman, R. S., Da Rocha, F. J., Weitkamp. L. R., Ward, R. H., Neel, J. V., and Chagnon, N. A., 1972, The genetic structure of a tribal population, the Yanomama Indians. VII. Anthropometric differences among Yanomama villages, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 37: 345.Google Scholar
  82. Stanford, B., and Tanner, J. M., 1949, An aircraft camera technique with flash or tungsten lighting, addendum to Tanner, J. M., and Weiner, J. S., 1949, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 7: 145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Steggerda, M., 1942, Anthropometry of the living: A study on checking of techniques, Anthropol. Briefs 2: 7.Google Scholar
  84. Stewart, T. D., 1952, Hrdlicka’s Practical Anthropometry, 4th ed., The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  85. Strickland, A. L., and Shearin, R. B., 1972, Dirunal height variation in children, Pediatrics 80: 1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Stuart, H. C., 1939, Studies from the Center for Research in Child Health and Development, School of Public Health, Harvard University. I. The Center, the group under observation, sources of information and studies in progress, Child Dey. Monogr. 4: 1.Google Scholar
  87. Takasaki, H., 1970, Moiré topography, Appl. Opt. 9: 1457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Tanner, J. M., 1952, The assessment of growth and development in children, Arch. Dis. Child. 27: 10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Tanner, J. M., 1962, Growth at Adolescence, 2nd ed., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  90. Tanner, J. M., 1964, The Physique of the Olympic Athlete, George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  91. Tanner, J. M., 1965, Radiographic studies of body composition in children and adults, in: Body Composition, Symp. Soc. Study Hum. Biol. 7: 211.Google Scholar
  92. Tanner, J. M., and Weiner, J. S., 1949, The reliability of the photogrammetric method of anthropometry, with a description of a miniature camera technique, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 7: 145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Tanner, J. M., and Whitehouse, R. H., 1959, Standards for Skeletal Maturity, Part I. International Children’s Centre, Paris.Google Scholar
  94. Tanner, J. M., and Whitehouse, R. H., 1975, Revised standards for triceps and subscapular skinfolds in British Children, Arch. Dis. Child. 50: 142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Tanner, J. M., Whitehouse, R. H., and Powell, J. H., 1958, Armadillo. A protective clothing as a shield from X-radiation, Lancet 2: 779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Tanner, J. M., Whitehouse, R. H., Marshall, W. A., Healy, M. J. R., and Goldstein, H., 1975a, Assessment of Skeletal Maturity and Prediction of Adult Height (TW2 Method), Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  97. Tanner, J. M., Lejarraga, H., and Cameron, N., 1975b, The natural history of the Silver-Russell syndrome: A longitudinal study of 39 cases, Pediatr. Res. 9: 611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Terada, H., 1974, A new apparatus for stereometry: Moiré contourograph, in: Nutrition and Malnutrition ( A. F. Roche and F. Falkner, eds.), pp. 27–46, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Udjus, L. G., 1964, Anthropometrical changes in Norwegian men in the twentieth century, Norwegian Monograph on Medical Science, Universitets-forlaget, Oslo.Google Scholar
  100. Waterlow, J. C., Buzina, R. Keller, W., Lane, J. M., Nichaman, M. Z. and Tanner, J. M., 1977, The presentation and use of height and weight data for comparing the nutritional status of groups of children under the age of 10 years, Bull WHO 55 (4): 489–498.Google Scholar
  101. Weiner, J. S., and Lourie, S. A., 1969, Human Biology: A Guide to Field Methods, IBP Handbook No. 9, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  102. White, R. M., 1966, U.S. Army Anthropometry-1966, Pioneering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Natick Laboratories, Natick, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  103. Whitehouse, R. H., 1974, personal communication.Google Scholar
  104. Whitehouse, R. H., Tanner, J. M., and Healy, M. J. R., 1974, Diurnal variation in stature and sitting height in 12–14 year-old boys, Ann. Hum. Biol. 1: 103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noël Cameron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Growth and DevelopmentInstitute of Child HealthLondonEngland

Personalised recommendations