myAnthro - Designing for Human Variability learning modules

Welcome visitors from the App Store.


myAnthro - Basic

Proportionality constants are part of a typical introduction to basic spatial analyses in Ergonomics and Human Factors courses. Since stature (erect standing height) is the only input, one can readily explore the range of lengths one might observe in body segments such as arms or legs. myAnthro - Basic provides an easy mechanism for playing with the numbers (and it's a lot more fun than trying to do it by hand).

Some stature information from two populations is included in the app to give an idea of the range of statures observed in the USA. The first population, NHANES III, contains data from a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control from 1988-1994. Although the raw data from this National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey contain children, only the data from adults are included in the results in the app. It should be noted that the civilian U.S. population today is approximately the same height as in the survey, but much heavier. You can download the summary data tables using the links below.

NHANES III data (a zipped archive of official stature, mass, and BMI tables for adults)

NHANES III data website at the CDC (link to an external site)


The second set of data are from ANSUR, a U.S. military population. This study, released in 1988, is considered by many to be the "gold standard" of anthropometric data collection in the U.S. Consequently it is frequently used in design (even though military populations are very different in size and shape than civilian ones). The work was conducted by NATICK and a contractor, Anthrotech. The links below reference the final report, the raw data, and a more accessible (tab-delimited) version.

Final Report 24MB [Gordon, Claire C., Bruce Bradtmiller, Thomas Churchill, Charles E. Clauser, John T. McConville, Ilse O. Tebbetts, and Robert A. Walker. 1988 Anthropometric Survey of US Army Personnel: Methods and Summary Statistics. Technical Report NATICK/TR-89/044, AD A225 094.]

Raw data files and descriptions at the Defense Technical Information Center

Excel files containing the raw data (parsed for analysis by Matthew P. Reed)


So enjoy the app. As is mentioned in the app's "Background" section, these data are great for playing around, but shouldn't be used for real design for a variety of reasons. For a discussion of some of these issues, you might read Predicting 5th and 95th percentile anthropometric segment lengths from population stature (Fromuth and Parkinson, 2008).


For questions related to the software tool, email me at