What aspects need to be considered during application of anthropometric data for men and women?

Men and women exhibit differences in the mean values of virtually all their absolute body dimensions. The dimensions for women are frequently but not always lower.

According to DIN 33402-2, the median body height for women is around 125 mm lower than that for men, the greatest (i.e. bideltoid) shoulder breadth is 45 mm lower, the crotch height 55 mm lower, and the hands and feet 12 mm and 20 mm shorter respectively than the corresponding values for men. Only for the breadth and circumferential dimensions, particularly of the lower half of the trunk and of the thigh, are the values for women higher than or at least equal to those of men (see How are percentiles used?, Table: Percentiles (in mm) and the associated ranges to be observed for ergonomic design targets, with reference to the example of the body height and the body breadth sitting). The subcutaneous fatty tissue component is also greater among women, and the fat distribution pattern is biased towards the hips and thighs/calves. These differences in body dimensions result in women exhibiting completely different proportions to men. Women have proportionally narrow shoulders and short legs, but a comparatively long and slim neck. The ribcage is deep and round in cross-section, whereas for men its proportions tend to be narrow and flat. Clear differences are also measured on the head, which for women can be described as their having a proportionally larger skull, a rounder and flatter face and a less sloping forehead. Owing to these differences, human body dimensions are usually evaluated separately by sex. As can be seen from the table under How are percentiles used?, this reveals the differences between the sexes very clearly. The body height of the average woman (P50) corresponds to that of the short man (P5); that of the average man (P50) to that of the tall woman (P95).

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