Anthropometry is the science of obtaining systematic measurements of the human body. To obtain anthropometric measurements, a variety of specialized tools are used: height, length and circumference of body segments, bone diameter, skin thickness and subcutaneous fat, weight. Anthropometric measurements can be used to describe particular human physiques, known as somatotypes. There are three main somatotypes- endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. some individuals may represent a hybrid of two somatotypes.
An endomorph refers to humans whose tissues are predominantly derived from the endoderm, exhibited by a soft, round shape, large digestive viscera, fat accumulation, large trunk, and tapering extremities.
Ectomorph refers to humans whose tissues are derived primarily from the ectoderm, exhibited by a linear body shape, large surface area, thin muscles and subcutaneous tissue, and moderately developed digestive viscera.
A mesomorph refers to humans whose tissues are derived primarily from the mesoderm, exhibited by increased muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Such individuals typically have a hard physique and rectangular shape, intermediate between the endo- and ectomorph.
physical anthropologists and criminologists continue to use anthropometric measurements in the study of human evolution through the comparison of novel fossil remains to archived specimens and forensics, respectively, current applications have extended to Industrial design and architecture, Clothing, Ergonomics, Medicine. In these industries, anthropometric data is invaluable to the optimization of various products and observing the changes which occur in response to various lifestyle, genetic, and ethic factors.
Journal of Ergonomics Research,