No announcement yet.

Hand Anthropometric Data

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hand Anthropometric Data

    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


    ************************************************** *************

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

    you could use the images from the visible human project
    ( to digitize
    the shapes. I have done this for the lower extremity using a commercial
    software (, 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: 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 . You can purchase anatomically correct
    3D models at educationally discounted prices. My contact, Dan Farr ), 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
    (, 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) ( and Dave Giurintano
    ( 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

    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
    5445 Point Clair Road
    Carville LA 70721
    ************************************************** **************************

    (517) 353-9961

    To unsubscribe send UNSUBSCRIBE BIOMCH-L to
    For information and archives: