A quantile-based anthropometry synthesis technique for global user populations

Gopal Nadadur, Ulrich Raschke, Matthew B. Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Detailed anthropometric data are valuable in making well-informed and responsible design decisions. However, such data are available only for a few user populations around the world. More widely-available information is in the form of summary statistics (e.g., means and standard deviations) and the values of body measures at certain key percentiles (e.g., 5th, 50th, 95th). Such information, while useful, is not suitable for in-depth analyses of a population's variability, since it does not allow for the consideration of correlations between different body measures, does not describe irregular distributions of body dimensions, etc. This paper presents a new method that utilizes values of body measures at different percentiles in synthesizing a detailed anthropometric database for a virtual population of users. The procedure is demonstrated in the context of Japanese civilian youth and U.S. military, and is shown to be simple, accurate, easy to use, and applicable across these two anthropometrically dissimilar populations. The case study shows that the virtual population is statistically equivalent to the actual target population in a number of ways. In addition to achieving statistical equivalence with the actual population's body dimensions, the method also ensures that the synthesized individuals are composed of appropriate and realistic body proportions and combinations of anthropometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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