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Anthropometric Notes

This page provides notes relating to human sizes and links to sites providing data on human measurements and interfaces.

Safety  Note

The following data is for guidance and is not for detailed design.
In designing any equipment requiring manual handling one is advised to refer the the relevant regulations.  Refer to.    HSE Info

Useful Dimensions ..A page on this website with some useful human related dimensions
Anthropometric Data


This data provides information on the sizes of British ?? people between the ages of 18 to 65.    It can only be used to give rough ideas of people sizes for the following reasons

  1. The statistical sizes vary with age the average height for an elderly person would be up to 80mmm lower than that for a younger person
  2. People sizes vary significantly for different nationalities, i.e Americans are generally larger than British who are larger than people from India.
  3. Over time the average sizes of people change. If you are designing a doorway for the average person today it may be too small for the average person in 80 years time .
  4. Over time the ethnic make up of a population can change e.g. in the UK at this time there is a rapid growth in the population as people imigrate into the UK from overseas, Also the average population is aging.     This could possibly result is a reduction in the average peoply sizes- contradicting 3) above
  5. Importantly - the relevant target group may be significantly different to the general population.     Designing equipment for a basket ball team would require totally different set of data to that for the general population

The table relates to British person age 19 to 65 .
The 5% percentile indicates that 5% of people are smaller than the sizes given. The 95% percentile indicates that 95% of people are smaller than the sizes given. Therefore the size range show the mid 90% range of people sizes in the UK.    The average values is simply the mean of these to values

The data relates to people wearing the minimum of clothing and wearing no footwear.    In height allowances it is prudent to allow about 25mm for male shoes and about 45mm for female shoes.

Important Note:

The numbers I present in the table below are not directly obtained from any source.    I have referred to a number of information sources, which I identify, below and used interpreted/interpolated values.    These are of the top of my head values which I believe are just as relevant for general/rough use as formal statistical data derived from specific groups at specific times, using specific methods.    For formal design work requiring justification of data it is important to use quality information such as
The Openerg website Database Peoplesize - This is probably the best current source of this information (at a cost). or
DTI document "Adultdata" by L/Peebles/B Norris (1998) if you get hold of it - I referred to a copy about 2 years ago in my local library.

The table below is not based on any data included in these two reference sources.

Reference Information

1) Metric Design Handbook Planning and Design Data 2nd Ed.edited by D. Adler, Architectural Press. (Latest version linked above.)

2) Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and the Design of Work, 2nd Ed,by Stephen Pheasant, Taylor & Francis Ltd;

3) Fitting the Task to the man, by Etienne Grandjean, 4th Ed 1988 ,Taylor & Francis

4) PD ISO/TR 7250-2:2010 :Basic human body measurements for technological design Part 2: Statistical summaries of body measurements from individual ISO populations...Provides dimensions for populations in certain countries .Not UK. But German seem close to UK

5) BS EN ISO 7250:1998 : Basic human body measurements for technological design.. Provides basis for measurements

6) Link to Anthropometry - Belgium ...Anthropometric information for 2005 Belgium population... (similar to UK)

8) Human dimensions in Workplace design...Some anthropometric data (imperial sizes)..US information.

9) Design Bites -Human Factors and Aesthetics ....Very useful - includes 50th percentile dimensions.

Dimension s Man (Percentiles) Women (Percentiles)
5% 50% 95% 5% 50% 95%
1- Height 1630 1745 1860 1510 1620 1730
2-Eye 1520 1640 1760 1410 1515 1620
3-Shoulder Height 1340 1445 1550 1240 1330 1420
4-Elbow Height 1020 11001180 950 1020 1090
5-Hip Height850 935 1020 750820 890
6-Knuckle Height (Fist grip height)700 765 830 670720 770
7-Fingertip Height600 675 730 560 620 680
8-Sitting Height 860 915 970 800 855 910
9-Sitting Eye Height 740 800860 700 750 800
10-Sitting Shoulder 570 615 660 530580 630
11-Sitting Elbow Height210 250290 190 235 280
12-Thigh Thickness130155 180 120 150 180
13-Buttock-Knee Length560 605 670 520 585 650
14-Buttock-popliteal length450 510570 440 500 560
15-Knee Height490 535 580 460 595 530
16-Popliteal Height (Lower leg Length)410 450 490 370 410 450
17-Shoulder Breadth (Bideltoid)440 485 530 390 440490
18-Shoulder Breadth (Biacromial)370 405440 340365 390
19-Hip Breadth350 390430 350405460
20-Chest Depth210 245280210250290
21-Abdominal Depth220 275330 200270 340
22-Shoulder-Elbow Length330 365400 300330360
23-Elbow Fingertip Length440 475510 400430460
24-Upper Limb Length730 790850650715 780
25-Shoulder Grip Length680 745810620685750
26-Head Length190 200210170185200
27-Head Breadth140 155 170 140150 160
28-Hand Length170190 210 160175 190
29-Hand Breadth80 90 1007080 90
30-Foot Length240 265 290 220240 260
31-Foot Breadth90 100 110 8090 100
32-Span1670810 195015201650 1780
33-Elbow Span870845 1020780855 930
34-Vertical Reach19502100 225018101940 2070
35-Vertical Reach (sit)12201305139011001190 1280
36-Forward Grip Reach (Standing)720790 860660725 790

Hand capacities....( Average male )
Hand Grasp

Pictures showing same Information

Maximum height of reach-

Note: As a very general rule the maximum height of reach = 1,24 x Body Length..

Sex Stature Percentile To Fingertip(mm) Grasping Height (mm)
Male Tall 95 2310 2190
Male Average 50 2180 2060
Male Short 5 2040 1920
Female Tall 95 2120 2020
Female Average 50 2000 1900
Female Short 5 1890 1790

Links to Sites releated to anthropometry
  1. OpenErg ...A site provide a comprehensive detailed database for anthropometric information (at a cost)
  2. Design Bites -Human Factors and Aesthetics ....Very useful document 4.00 only lots of relevent info.
  3. Anthropometry - Belgium ...Anthropometric information for 2005 Belgium population...
  4. Anthrokids...Database of anthrometric/strength of US children 4 to 18 years old. (Massive quantity of information)
  5. Wikipedia - Anthropometry...Some very interesting background information.
  6. Anthropometric Data...A downloadable document providing lots of data similar to above.
  7. Summary of Database of Anthropometrics of US Military personnel (1995)...US Military document
  8. DOE-HDBK-1140-2001 .. USA DOE - Pt. 3 Workspace, Storage and Workshop Design- Access and equipment design data (1.3MB pdf)

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Last Updated 10/01/2013