14030 - Anthropometry and Ergonomics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has skills to express, through standardized measurement techniques, the characteristics of the human body and to interpret them in relation to the variability induced by environmental conditions, with particular reference to health status and motor, sports and ergonomic fields. In addition, the student is able, through laboratory work, detect and manage some linear dimensions.

Course contents

Definition, historical background, methods of study, applications. - Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Factors of variability in human populations during evolution and in differentiation. - Planning for an anthropometric/ergonomic research. Objectives, sampling. Body surfaces and planes - Choice of the reference points and of the measurements. – Measurement techniques. Height and Sitting height - body length - Variability of height with age, sex, in human population and in relation with sportactivity. Weight: modality of survey and its variability according to age, sex and sport activity. Lengths of various body segments, corcumefernces, skinfold thicknesses: points of survey and relative variability.- Body dimension in ergonomic ambit - Body proportions indexes: definition, variability, significance, informative valence, classificatory standard.- Body constitution outlines - Somatotype of Heath-Carter: valuation methods, applications and relative variability. - Body composition: valuation techniques: densitometry, hydrometry, anthropometric method, skinfold thicknesses method, impedance. Outlines on variability of fat mass, of fat free mass and body water in relation to age, sex and sport activity - Anthropometry and obesity. - Body image perception: assessment and interpretation - Growth: methods of study and trend. Standards of growth. Generality about factors of growth - Secular trend and its causes.- Ageing: methods of study; biological variability connected with ageing; Outlines on the factors of ageing; interpretation of ageing. - Ergonomy: definition, methods of investigations; applications of anthropometry in ergonomic ambit; postural efforts; Space of work and body dimensions.


Ø F.Facchini:" Antropologia" -UTET, 1995 (some parts of the book)

Ø Norton, Olds:"Anthropometrica" UNSW Press, 2006

Ø Lohman, Roche, Martorell- "Manuale di riferimento per la standardizzazioneantropometrica" EDRA ed., 1992

Ø Eston R. Reilly T. .”Kinanthropometry and exercise physiology laboratory manual- vol 1 : Anthropometry” Routledge ed., 2001

Ø Frisancho A. R. Anthropometric standard. An interactive Nutritional reference of Body Size and Body Composition for children and adults. Ann Arbor - The University of Michigan Press, 2011

Slides of the lessons will be given to the students in blocks during the course

Teaching methods

Oral lectures and practice.

Assessment methods

The examination aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives:

- Know the techniques of detection and significance of the main anthropometric measures

- Know the methods that lead to the definition of the indexes, body constitution and body composition

- Know the use of techniques and methods above mentioned for the purpose of understanding the variability within auxology, during aging, in sports and ergonomic.

The assessment of learning occurs through an oral examination with three questions related to the topics covered in class and during practice. The evaluation of the candidate will be based on his ability to expose the acquired knowledge with a correct terminology, showing to have an organic vision of the topics and to know how to argue them critically. The correct exposition of the themes, the critical analysis of the topics and the use of an appropriate terminology will lead to excellent marks; a lower level of knowledge of the subject, a lower ability to connect the topics covered, using a correct, but not always appropriate language, will lead to discrete evaluation; minimal knowledge of the subject, formative shortcoming and/or inappropriate language will results in votes which will not exceed sufficiency.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, anthropometric equipment

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Toselli