Anthropometric measurements with anthropometer

Good afternoon,

In relation to the anthropometric measurements with anthropometer to determine the ideal size of the chair and table, we are having differences in measurements between the evaluators. For example, in the same elbow measurement there are differences of error of 1.5 cm between one evaluator to another. What is the clinically significant measurement error when shoulder, elbow, or popliteal length is measured?

Is there a scientific publication or article that provides information on this aspect?

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

1 Like

Hi Parames,

Interesting question.

I will assume that all the measurers already went through measurement training.

You may use the method of Technical Error of Measurement (TEM) to validate all the so-called anthropometrist measurement skill.

Here some papers to assist you:

Jamaiyah, H et al. 2010. “Reliability, Technical Error of Measurements and Validity of Length and Weight Measurements for Children under Two Years Old in Malaysia.” Medical Journal of Malaysia 65 Suppl A(Supplement A): 131–37.

Ulijaszek, Stanley J., and Deborah A. Kerr. 1999. “Anthropometric Measurement Error and the Assessment of Nutritional Status.” British Journal of Nutrition 82(3): 165–77.

Carsley, Sarah et al. 2019. “Reliability of Routinely Collected Anthropometric Measurements in Primary Care.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 19(1): 1–8.

Perini, Talita Adao, Glauber Lameira de Oliveira, Juliana dos Santos Ornelia, and Fatima Palha de Oliveira. 2005. “Technical Error of Measurement in Anthropometry.” Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte 11(1): 86–90.

Hope this helps!


Thank you very much for your answer, it has been a great help, I have been analyzing the articles, which have led me to others (a).
I have a question about the formula to use:

  • Most of the articles propose the following equations 1 and 2 attached:
    Ecuación 1 Ecuación 2
  • Only Ulijaszek (1999) proposes a different equation attached 3:
    Ecuación 3
    Q1: What formulas do you recommend us to use from your experience?

Once the %TEM value has been achieved to assess the inter-observer error, in the case of anthropometric measurements of distance such as popliteal, shoulder to chair, elbow to chair … authors such as Perini (2005), Jamaiyah (2010), Norton 1995 report that for different measurements than skin folds, if the difference is greater than 2.0%, it would not be valid.
Q2: Do you agree with this value?

Thank you very much again for your time and attention.


  • Bragança, S., Arezes, P., Carvalho, M., Ashdown, S. P., Castellucci, I., & Leão, C. (2018). A comparison of manual anthropometric measurements with Kinect-based scanned measurements in terms of precision and reliability. Work , 59 (3), 325–339.
  • Kevin Norton. (1995). Antropometrica Norton K and T. Olds, 1995.