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Anthropometric differences among occupational groups.
Hsiao H; Long D; Snyder K
Ergonomics 2002 Feb; 45(2):136-152
The increasing demands for anthropometric information for the design of machinery and personal protective equipment to prevent occupational injuries has necessitated an understanding of the anthropometric differences to be found among occupations. This study identified differences in various body measurements between occupational groups in the USA, as determined in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Approximately 16,000 of its 32,900 subjects were associated with an occupational group. The analysis of the data showed that the body size, or body segment measurements, of some occupational groups differ significantly. For example, agricultural workers were shorter by an average of 2.5 cm in height, and had wider wrist breadths, than other workers. Female agricultural and manufacturing workers had larger waist circumferences than those in the 'other occupations' and 'all occupations' categories. Protective service workers (i.e. firefighters, police and guards) were taller and heavier (7 kg heavier for males and over 10 kg heavier for females) than those in all occupations combined. These differences and other deviations as well as some age-and-ethnicity-adjusted results were tabulated for users' reference. Researchers and designers who use anthropometric databases to evaluate human-machine interfaces and personal protective equipment (PPE) must use caution in selecting databases that are adequate for their occupational applications.
Anthropometry; Personal-protective-equipment; Machine-operation; Occupational-hazards; Body-protection; Agricultural-workers; Fire-fighters; Police-officers; Age-groups; Racial-factors; Humans; Construction-workers; Author Keywords: Anthropometry; Occupation; Human size; Agriculture; Construction; Personal protective equipment
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment; Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division