View Full Version : Hand Anthropometric Data

Wendy Sue Reffeor
07-31-1998, 04:01 AM
Dear All,

Attached is a list of the responses to my original posting regarding hand
anatomical data. Thank you to all who responded. Your information has
been very helpful.


Wendy Reffeor
Michigan State University

I would try Dr. David Thompson who is now head of the mechanical
engineering department at University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. He did
a lot of early work in hand biomechanics and graphics for a virtual surgery
station at LSU in the 1980's.... a very nice man. Best of luck with the


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Dwight E. Waddell Jr., Ph.D
Center for Human Movement Studies
400 Tenth Street

you could use the images from the visible human project
(http://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/visible/visible_human.html) to digitize
the shapes. I have done this for the lower extremity using a commercial
software (http://www.surfdriver.com), which worked quit good for my



__________________________________________________ ____________________________

Dr. Martin Pohl
Abteilung Unfallchirurgische Forschung und Biomechanik (Klinikum Ulm)
Helmholtzstrasse 14
89081 ULM
Deutschland, EU
Tel.: +49-(0)731-50-23494 FAX: +49-(0)731-50-23498
WWW: http://pollux.medizin.uni-ulm.de e-mail:

I don't have the data for you but I suggest you check the old physical
anthropological literature, as physical anthropologists measured
everything. You might check with Norm Sauer, who was a graduate
student when I was an undergraduate at MSU and I believe still is a
professor of anthropology there.

Joel Vilensky
Indiana University

Have you tried to get this information on the visible-human project? It
would be
only one geometrical data but maybe enough for you.
You could also make yourself (and some friends) scanned.

Benvenuti Jean-Francois
Laboratoire de Genie Medical
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne Switzerland.

You can try http://www.zygote.com/ . You can purchase anatomically correct
3D models at educationally discounted prices. My contact, Dan Farr
dan@zygote.com ), has been pretty good to reply to emails and answer
questions. I'm in the process of ordering a set of knee bones from them.


Glenn Kverneland
North Carolina State University
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Box 7625, 157 D.S. Weaver Labs
Raleigh, NC 27695-7625
phone (919) 233-0072
fax (919) 515-7760

You may be able to find some data at the visible human project:
but I believe you need to pay for it.

I know an orthopedic hand surgeon with access to cadavers and he may be willing
to do a descriptive study if such information has not been published.

Bryan Kirking
Research Engineer
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas

My former professor at the University of New Mexico has a 3 dimensional
data set of a human finger. This data has been used to generate 3D
visual representation of the finger. You will have to discuss the
details with him. His information is as follows...

Dr. David E. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Mechanical Engineering
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505)277-6277 Phone

I hope this helps.

Good Luck,

Kevin H.

Kevin Hollander, Engineer
Human Performance Laboratory
Barnes - Jewish Hospital
4555 Forest Park Parkway, 2nd Floor
St. Louis, MO 63108

(314)454-8332 Phone
(314)454-5388 Fax

I suggest you check out ergonomics / biomechanics / anthropometrics
textbooks. Three I have to hand that cite relevant data and sources

Roebuck JA Jr (1995) Anthropometric Methods: Designing to Fit the
Human Body. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica, CA.
ISBN 0-945289-01-4

Kroemer KHE, Kroemer HJ and Kroemer-Elbert KE (1997) Engineering
Physiology: Bases of Human Factors / Ergonomics. Van Nostrand
Reinhold, New York. 3rd Edition, ISBN 0-442-02380-4.
Pheasant ST (1996) Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and the Design
of Work. Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia, 2nd Edition.

The Roebuck book cites a Doctoral Dissertation by B.O. Bucholz "A
kinematic model of the human hand to evaluate its prehensile
capabilities". University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1989.


Preuschoft and Chivers published a handbook "Hands of primates" in 1993
with Springer-Verlag Vienna and New York ISBN 3-211-82385-9. It covers
functional aspects as well as morphological data . Many of the authors
(about 25) are active in research still, so that I wouldn´t be surprised
to get detailed information on the subject by one of them. The American
Journal of Physical Anthropolgy was a valuable source for morphological
data in my work, but I couldn´t guarantee for success in your detailed

I would be happy to hear from You

Kind Regards from Bochum, Germany
H.F.Bär M.D. Ph.D

check Lehrbuch der Anthroplogie by Saller und Martin
Prof. M.L.Moss, Anatomy, Columbia Univ.

There is plenty of material out there. The most important question is
what you would like to do with the data. If you are modeling the
motion of the hand you may only need approximations to the
length/girth of the phalanges as in:

1. An, K.N., et al., Normative model of human hand for
biomechanical analysis. Journal of Biomechanics, 1979. 12(10): p.
1. Buchholz, B. and T.J. Armstrong, An ellipsoidal representation
of human hand anthropometry. Human Factors, 1991. 33(4): p. 429-41.
2. Buchholz, B., T.J. Armstrong, and S.A. Goldstein,
Anthropometric data for describing the kinematics of the human hand.
Ergonomics, 1992. 35(3): p. 261-73.
3. Buchholz, B. and T.J. Armstrong, A kinematic model of the
human hand to evaluate its prehensile capabilities. Journal of
Biomechanics, 1992. 25(2): p. 149-62.

If you are attempting to correlate your models with actual measuremnts
of the human hand there is data out there such as:
1. Cole, K.J. and J.H. Abbs, Coordination of three-joint digit
movements for rapid finger-thumb grasp. J Neurophysiol, 1986. 55(6):
p. 1407-23.
2. Cole, K.J. and J.H. Abbs, Kinematic and electromyographic
responses to perturbation of a rapid grasp. Journal of
Neurophysiology, 1987. 57(5): p. 1498-510.

If you are looking at motion of the hands as they approach grasp:
1. Johansson, R.S. and K.J. Cole, Sensory-motor coordination
during grasping and manipulative actions. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 1992.
2(6): p. 815-23.
or they perform typing or piano playing:
1. Leijnse, J.N., et al., The hand of the musician: kinematics of
the bidigital finger system with anatomical restrictions. Journal of
Biomechanics, 1993. 26(10): p. 1169-79.

1. Soechting, J. and M. Flanders, Organization of sequential
typing movements. J Neurophysiol, 1992. 67: p. 1275-90.
2. Flanders, M. and J.F. Soechting, Kinematics of typing:
parallel control of the two hands. Journal of Neurophysiology, 1992.
67(5): p. 1264-74.

If you are interested in the coordination of muscles during hand
1. Darling, W.G. and K.J. Cole, Muscle activation patterns and
kinetics of human index finger movements. J Neurophysiol, 1990. 63(5):
p. 1098-108.
2. Valero-Cuevas, F.J., F.E. Zajac, and C.G. Burgar, Large
index-fingertip forces are produced by subject-independent patterns of
muscle excitation. Journal of Biomechanics, 1998. in press.
3. Darling, W.G., K.J. Cole, and G.F. Miller, Coordination of
index finger movements. Journal of Biomechanics, 1994. 27(4): p.

All this information is available on-line though MEDLINE
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/), so I am surprised you have not
found it. Do let me know if you require further help after you have
exhausted the on-line and library sources.

Good luck with your research.

-Francisco Valero-Cuevas

Bill Buford (UT Galveston) (william.buford@utmb.edu) and Dave Giurintano
(Carol.Granier@access.gov) have CT generated hand bones They also have alot
of experience and publications modeling finger movements and joint


Anne Hollister, MD
LSUMC-S / Orthopaedic Surgery
1501 Kings Hwy.
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
email: anne@www.ortho.lsumc.edu

Get Ali Seireg's book - Biomechanical Analysis of the Musculoskeetal
Structure for Medicine and Sports (ISBN 0-89116-423-5. It has all sorts of
general info on sizes of body parts(limb lengths, bones, etc) including the

/************************************************** *************************
Dave Giurintano, MSME (504) 642-4731 V
Chief (504) 642-4738 F
Paul Brand Biomechaincs Lab
Gillis W. Long Hansen's Disease Center David.Giurintano@access.gov
5445 Point Clair Road
Carville LA 70721
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(517) 353-9961

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