Swedish anthropometrics for product and workplace design

Applied Ergonomics
Lars HansonCindy Olivares Vergara


The present study describes the anthropometrics of the Swedish workforce, aged 18-65, and compares the measurements with data collected four decades earlier. This anthropometric information is based on measurements of a total of 367 subjects, 105 males and 262 females. Of the 367 subjects, 268 responded to advertisements (Study A) and 99 were randomly selected from a community register (Study B). Subjects were scanned in four positions. Manual measuring equipment was used for hands, feet, head and stature. As differences between significant measurements in Studies A and B were negligible, the data were merged. Anthropometric descriptive statistics of women and men are presented for 43 body dimensions. Participants represent the Swedish population fairly well when compared with national statistics of stature and weight. Comparing new anthropometric data with old shows that the breadth, depth, height, and length measurements of Swedes as well as weight have increased and that Swedish anthropometric homogeneity has decreased. The results indicate that there is a need to update ergonomic recommendations and adjust products and workplaces to the new information.


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