With changing standards of living, the body dimensions of people have been increasing in many countries over the last few decades. To ensure that clothing, workplaces, transportation, homes and recreational activities match today's body sizes comfortably and safely, ISO
has published a report compiling up-to-date anthropometric data (human body measurements across populations).
This report, ISO/TR 7250-2:2010, 'Basic human body measurements for technological design – Part 2: Statistical summaries of body measurements from individual ISO populations,' is the second part of a series on body measurements. ISO/TR 7250-2 seeks to identify physical variations in human body sizes and shapes around the world so that manufacturers can have a realistic view of today's population diversity and optimise technological design accordingly.
For instance, the report tells us that while the average height and weight of an American man are respectively 1.76m and 80kg, those of the average Thai man are 1.67m and 64kg. And that an average Dutch woman measures 1.67m and weighs 72kg, while an average Japanese woman measures 1.57m and weighs 51kg.
Dr Makiko Kouchi, project leader of ISO/TR 7250, explains: "Inadequate measures in products and environments compromise our health by putting unnecessary strain on our bodies. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to sit in a chair that is too tight, or to find it difficult to reach the products in a supermarket? Harmonising our surroundings to our body size, shape and capability by applying ergonomic principles is key to ensuring our wellbeing."
ISO/TR 7250-2 provides updated country-specific body size data. The report focuses on working age people within ISO
populations (countries whose national standards institutes are members of ISO). It features key statistics for ergonomic design such as body mass, stature, eye height, chest depth, hip breadth, etc, in both standing and sitting positions. The measurements used as a basis are described in detail in the first part of the series, ISO/TR 7250-1:2008.
ISO/TR 7250-2 aims to become a reference for the various ISO
product standards so that their ergonomic accuracy can be further improved. The report is intended as a repository of the most current anthropometric data by country, which will be updated as new statistics become available. It currently includes: Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Thailand and the USA.
"We developed ISO/TR 7250-2 with the principle of 'equity' in mind," says Dr Kouchi. "More often than not, products are designed in a mass production basis which ignores human variation. The report will help manufacturers to better gear their products to their target customers, taking into account the considerable differences in body shapes and sizes that can exist. This will ensure that products respect the ergonomic needs of their populations, and that no size is 'discriminated' no matter how big or small" she concludes.
For more information, visit www.iso.org