How to Take Body Measurements with an Anthropometric Tape Measure

You can take either length or circumference measurements of the body with a tape measure to know what type of body you have. 


An anthropometric (body) tape measure should be used, since common sewing tapes are not standardized and can give wrong measurements. Learn more about Anthropometric Tape Measures.

AnthroFlex Anthropometric Tape Measure

Lufkin Anthropometric Tape Measure

Cescorf Anthropometric Tape Measure

 AnthroFlex Tape Measure Lufkin Tape Measure cescorf tape measure

What are the parts of the body to measure with a tape measure?

How to take Body Perimeters with Tape Measure

To measure the body with a tape measure follow the next steps and consider the following:

  • Take into account the technique of taking the tape: take the tape with the end of the 0 (zero) with the right hand and the shell of the tape with the left hand (the cm must be outwards).
  • Circle the segment to be measured until both hands are in front of the view.
  • Pass the end of the tape with the 0 to the left hand and the shell to the right hand and put one tape over the other so that the 0 is intercepted with the final number of the measurement, * not overlapping the tape on itself, so as not to cover the numbers.

how to take a tape measure

Arm Circumference:

For this measurement, the length must be taken first and then the circumference.

  1. Identify the anatomical points: the lateral acromial process and mark it.
  2. Position the subject's arm at a 90 ° angle. Place the zero of the tape measure at the lateral acromial point and extend it to the olecranon (elbow bone)
  3. Without removing the tape, mark the middle of the measurement on the arm.


  1. With the arm relaxed, surround it with the tape at the marked midpoint, this should be right in the middle of both tapes when intercepting. Read the measurement and write it down
how to measure middle arm with a tape measure

Chest Circumference:

This measurement can be taken in two ways:

  • Pass the tape over the most prominent part of the chest, making sure that it is completely horizontal (at the same height) in the back and in the front.
  • Or place the tape around the chest at the anatomical point of the intercostal space of the fourth rib, which is taken to measure the diameter of the transverse thorax See How to Use a Large Bone Anthropometer
how to measure chest with a tape measure

Waist Circumference:

Pass the tape measure across the narrowest part of the abdomen, making sure that it is completely horizontal (at the same height) in the back and in the front. how to measure waist with a tape measure

Hip Circumference:

  1. The subject to be measured must have their arms crossed over their chest.
  2. Pass the tape measure over the most prominent part of the buttocks, making sure that it is completely horizontal (at the same height) behind and in front.
how to measure hip with a tape measure

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