Allometric models of adult regional body lengths and circumferences to height: Insights from a three‐dimensional body image scanner

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American Journal of Human Biology
Objectives: Recent reports on body regional mass scaling's to height have advanced understanding differences in adult heights. These studies resulted in conjectures on how regional lengths and circumferences may scale to height. We provide evidence for these conjectures by analyzing a large sample of regional limb, trunk, chest, and head lengths and circumferences in a large sample of US Army basic training recruits. Methods: Participants consisted of 10 271 males and 2760 females ages 17 to 21 years old who reported for basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. Participants were imaged by a three‐dimensional (3D) body scanner for uniform sizing which yielded 159 body measurements of total mass, lengths and circumferences at regional sites of arms, legs, trunk, chest, and head. The allometric model, was applied to derive scaling exponents which were applied to estimate regional mass scaling's. Results: Body mass scaled to height with powers of ∼2.0 (mean ± SE, 1.98 ± 0.04, 1.93 ± 0.06). Arm and leg lengths scaled to exponents larger than 1.0 and head height and circumferences at regional sites scaled to exponents smaller than 1.0. The leg, arm, and trunk mass scaling exponents were all above 2.0. Head mass scaled to powers smaller than 2.0. Conclusions: The 3D scanner allowed hundreds of anthropometric measurements to be obtained within seconds. The ensuing analysis revealed that greater height yielded disproportional increases in limb lengths, limb mass and trunk mass. These analyses provide evidence that could not be previously measured that further both biomechanical and metabolic conjectures.
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Watts et al., “Allometric Models of Adult Regional Body Lengths and Circumferences to Height.”