Anthropometry is the science of obtaining systematic measurements of the human body. Anthropometry first developed in the 19th century as a method employed by physical anthropologists for the study of human variation and evolution in both living and extinct populations. In particular, such anthropometric measurements have been used historically as a means to associate racial, cultural, and psychological attributes with physical properties. Specifically, anthropomorphic measurements involve the size (e.g., height, weight, surface area, and volume), structure (e.g., sitting vs. standing height, shoulder and hip width, arm/leg length, and neck circumference), and composition (e.g., percentage of body fat, water content, and lean body mass) of humans.
Anthropometry is the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body. Measurements like eye height, the distance from the floor to a person’s eyes, can be taken sitting or standing. Other measurements include elbow height, hip breadth, overall stature, knuckle height, and popliteal height, or the distance from the floor to the back of the knee.
These measurements play an important role in the design of architecture, furniture, tools, cars, clothes and more to fit the human body. For example, the height and width of a doorway, or the height and depth of a cabinet or countertop all rely on anthropometry.
Two basic areas in anthropometry:
1. Static anthropometry
Static anthropometry is a body size measurement carried out when the condition of one’s body is at rest or in a static state. In addition, measurements can be made when the body is using devices such as chairs, tables, beds, mobility devices, and so on.
2. Functional anthropometry
In contrast to static anthropometry, functional anthropometry is a measurement of human motion related to the completion of tasks, moves, and matters related to the use of space and equipment. For example, for factory employees, measurements are made when they are operating equipment in the room.
The use of anthropometry in building design aims to ensure that everyone has as much comfort as possible while doing work. For example, dimensions must be appropriate, the roof ceiling is quite high, the doors and aisles are wide enough, and so on. Lately, anthropometry has also been used for the purposes of workplace design, such as the example of the relationship between tables, chairs, keyboards, and computer screen displays.
Conventional measurements usually use measuring instruments such as anthropometers, measuring tape and calipers. These measurements can sometimes cause data errors. So, it is better to do measurements with more modern tools such as anthropometric chairs.
In this case, dynamic measurement is also known. Research based on dynamic measurement must contribute to a number of factors, namely comfort, efficiency, comfort, and human safety. One can imagine how good design is for industrial workers, school rooms, vehicles and machinery, and also for military problems. There must be contributions to the design of furniture and architecture of workspaces such as kitchens and bathrooms.
When designing a home environment, for example, an architect needs to take into account the most comfortable and efficient ways to work around space, but still maintain an attractive design for the area. In the kitchen, for example, there needs to be enough space to move freely, but it can easily reach various cabinets, drawers and utilities easily.
In addition, the ergonomic innovation for the kitchen space is the kitchen working triangle, where the three main work functions of the kitchen, namely refrigerators, sinks and stoves, are within close proximity to one another but not close enough to make someone feel controlled and uncomfortable so that they can work efficiently in space.