Ever since Anthrotech was founded in 1950, we have spent a great deal of time working with government agencies. In total, we’ve measured tens of thousands of military and government employees for different branches of the U.S. military or sectors of the U.S. government. Today, we want to share details about a comprehensive anthropometric survey we completed for the U.S. Army.
In 2010, leaders from the U.S. Army commissioned Anthrotech to acquire a large body of data from comparably measured males and females to serve the Army’s design and engineering needs. The impetus for the survey was the Army’s concern that body size and shape had changed since the last anthropometric survey had been completed in 1988 (called “ANSUR,” which is short for Anthropometric Survey). A pilot study that had been conducted in 2006-2007 confirmed that significant changes had occurred, and Army leadership wanted to invest in a more thorough survey to produce the most accurate results.
How Anthrotech Helped
For this project, we measured 93 different dimensions and derived 41 additional dimensions based on the initial measurements. In addition to taking these measurements, we produced three-dimensional head, foot and whole-body scans for the Army’s subsequent use. A total of 8,120 men and 3,841 women were measured between October 2010 and April 2012 for this project. Measurements took place in 12 locations.
At the conclusion of this project, we were able to provide the U.S. Army with an explanation of the manual and 3D procedures used in the study, demographic data characterizing the sample in terms of its racial/ethnic, gender, age, geographic, and occupational distribution, and a detailed explanation of how observer error was calculated for this study to ensure optimum reliability.
Results from our survey showed that overall body size for Army members had indeed increased, but the increases were not seen in every dimension. In general, the length and height dimensions had not changed very much. Circumferential dimensions had changed the most. In addition, the variability had increased, which increased the overall design range.
Army leaders were able to take this information and update their design targets for uniforms, protective equipment, body armor, tank interiors and helicopter designs. The result of the work is that today’s soldiers are safer and more comfortable in Army-furnished clothing, protection gear, and equipment. A summary report has been published, so the results are also available for designers of products for civilian use.
In our next blog post, we will talk more about the differences in the findings between ANSUR and ANSUR 2.