View Full Version : Re: Human limb proportions vs. height?

10-06-2005, 02:33 AM
Limb and body segments do indeed vary with body size in a general sense
(tall people tend to have longer limbs) but the precise relationships
will differ quite a bit according to sex, geographic population and
individual variation. There is an unfortunate tendency among many
researchers to apply numbers from percentile tables with the idea that,
for example, a person who is 40th percentile in stature will also be at
or near the 40th percentile value for limb length or for body weight.
There is no validity for that assumption either statistically or
biologically. A lot of poor human engineering makes use of this
incorrect assumption.

Because of the complexity of the interrelationships between human body
dimensions there are no look up tables that provide this information
that are worth the paper they are printed on. I know this doesn't really
answer your question, but I hope I am successful in letting you know
that the answer is a lot more complicated than you might realize.

Although you stated that you are not interested in growth, most of the
good research that will provide you with the answers you seek will be
associated with questions of differential growth. To that end, may I
suggest that you add "Allometry" and "Scaling" as key terms to your

Thomas M. Greiner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anatomy
Dept. of Health Professions
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

-----Original Message-----
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of stephen.dixon@unb.ca
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 9:15 AM
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Human limb proportions vs. height?

Dear Biomch-L subcribers,

I am looking for information describing the human body segment
proportions as they
relate to varying heights(population distributions, not growth
changes). Do some
segments/limbs change more than others as hight increases? Do
segments/limbs grow
proportionally to each other and to overall height? Would this be the
same in Women and

I have our University online journals, the www, and Bioech-L archives,
using terms like:
anthropometry, anthropometry & proportions, anthropometry & segments,
body &
proportions, body & segments, ergonomics, ergonomics & body & segments,
and possibly a
few others.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Stephen Dixon
University of New Brunswick
MSc ESS (candidate)