HOW TO TAKE ANTHROPOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS
What are and How do you perform Anthropometric Measurements?Anthropometry is the science that studies the measurement of the human body. It includes body fat, bones and muscle. To perfom anthropometric measurements, variety of methodologies and equipment are required, most common are:
- Bone lengths
- Perimeters: cephalic (babies), brachial, abdominal, hip.
- Skin folds to identify body fat - muscle mass.
How to take Anthropometric Measurements: Skinfolds
To take skinfold measures also is necessary learn to take lengths, and for it you should always consider the following:
- Using an appropriate tape measure for body measurements, sewing tapes are not standardized and can cause measurement errors. Here you can buy Anthropometric Tape Measures with good quality
- Have a good Skinfold Caliper. Check well the skinfold caliper is calibrated, that the needle is always at zero and that it opens freely and easily. Here you can buy Skinfold Calipers with high quality
- Do not measure skinfolds after a workout, physical activity or other activity that increases body temperature, as this increases blood flow can increase the size of the skinfolds.
- The measurements will be made on the right side and the person should be standing relaxed.
- The person to be measured must have the minimum amount of clothing to achieve the anatomical measurement points without problems.
- The skin should be dry, without any oils or lotions to properly take the skinfolds and without errors.
- Know how to recognize anatomical points, to identify them and mark them correctly when measuring with the tape measure.
- At each marked anatomical point, the skinfold should be taken with the clamp-shaped fingers with the index finger and thumb (forming a circle with the fingers together), so you must have the nails well cut off so as not to hurt the person to measure, the marked point should be 1 cm from the fingers to leave space for the skinfold caliper.
- When taking the skinfold, it should be recognized to the touch that it is not taking from the underlying muscle tissue, and while still holding the skinfold, the two branches of the skinfold caliper should be placed so that the marked point is just in the middle of them, the caliper should be placed with an angle of 90° with respect to the surface of the skin to read the result well.
- When releasing the pressure of the skinfold caliper, you should read the dial in 2 or 3 seconds with the measurement, then release the pressure of the skinfold caliper by opening the branches, remove it and finally release the skinfold with your fingers.
- Do not allow the caliper to close only by releasing the branches and letting it snap, as this causes damage to the indicator mechanism.
- Keep in mind that for more accuracy of the results, it is necessary to take each measurement, either length or skinfold, two or three times and take an average of these.
Taking lengths and skinfolds
The points where the skinfolds will be taken must first be identified, as shown in the following Figure 1.
Take the Chest Skinfold
Length: On this site it is not necessary to measure with the tape measure beforehand.
Fold: The subject to be measured should be relaxed, with the arms located on each side of the body. The point for measuring the chest (pectoral) is the diagonal line between the nipple and the armpit, the fold is taken 1/3 of this line, being closer to the armpit, it should be taken diagonally, which is parallel to the direction of the nipple-armpit line.
Take the Bíceps Skinfold
Length: Subject's arm should be relaxed. Ask the subject to flex the arm at an angle of 90 degrees, Locate the lateral acromial point (shoulder) and place on it, the zero of the tape measure, extend it until you touch the tip of the olecranon (elbow), without removing the tape look at the measurement and with a marker suitable for the skin, mark half the measurement on the subject's arm.
Note: At this point, you can take the tape measure and measure the perimeter of the arm at the marked point taking care that it is straight around the entire arm, to mark the anterior point on the biceps making an imaginary line from the acromial point and the ulnar pit, and the back of the arm making an imaginary line from the posterior acromial point and elbow. This way you will have reference to take the skinfold from both sides. Remove the tape measure.
Fold: At this point the subject must be with the relaxed arm, down. Take the crease with your fingers vertically and without remove them, position the skinfold caliper so that the point is in the middle of the branches, read the measurement indicated by the dial and annotate it.
Take the Tríceps Skinfold
Length: Consider the biceps note, and for accuracy of the point taken, identify the posterior acromial point and olecranon, to perform an intersection with an imaginary line.
Fold: The subject must be with the relaxed arm, down. Take the skinfold with your fingers vertically and without remove them, position the skinfold caliper so that the point is in the middle of the branches, read the measure indicated by the dial and write it down.
Take the Subescapular Skinfold
Length: On this site it is not necessary to measure with the tape measure beforehand. You must locate the tip of the scapula and mark it.
Fold: The subject should be relaxed, arms down next to the body. The fold of skin is taken diagonally, approximately one centimeter below the lower tip of the scapula.
Take the Abdominal Skinfold
Length: Take the tape measure and place the zero in the middle of the navel, extends to the right side and in centimeter 5 the point is marked.
Fold: The subject should be relaxed, with his arms down next to the body, without holding his breath or bending the abdomen. The skinfold is taken vertically. A horizontal fold of the skin might be easier to take for some people, however, the vertical skinfold tends to be used more frequently and is ideal.
Take the Suprailiac Skinfold
Length: Ask the subject to lift the right arm and cross it in the chest, in a relaxed way, without straining the muscles or body. Identify the ileocrestal point (upper edge of the iliac crest) and mark it with the marker, identify the ilioespinal point (prominent bone when starting the pelvis) and mark it. Locate the tape measure from the previous armpit fold and extend it to the ilioespinal point. With an imaginary horizontal line from the ilocrestal point, intercept with the vertical line projected from the armpit to the ilioespinal. Mark the intersection point.
Fold: At this point, the subject should be relaxed, with arms facing down next to the body. The crease is taken diagonally.
Take the Thigh Skinfold
Length: The inguinal point (bending point, where the leg starts) should be located and marked, as should the upper edge of the knee. Locate the tape measure with zero at the inguinal point and extend it to the marked point on the knee, look at the measurement and without removing the tape measure, mark half the measurement on the thigh.
Fold: The crease should be taken vertically and with the leg relaxed, so the subject should rest its weight on the left foot and slightly flex the knee of the right leg (where the measurement will be made).
Take the Calf Skinfold
Length: The subject should be seated, the right leg flexes at about 90 degrees on the knee, with the sole of the foot flat on the ground. With the tape measure the perimeter of the calf on the most prominent part. Making sure the tape is straight, mark the point on the left side of the calf.
Fold: The calf crease is taken vertically.
Body Fat Calculator
Access body fat calculators, learn body fat testing tecniques, and create profiles with Anthrometrix body fat software.
International Buying InfoShop our Amazon international stores for fast, easy, localized purchase: International Shipping From the USA Info
Become a Distributor