Human body proportions are unique and there are variations across the races. But it is important to understand the basics of human body proportions as well as abnormal body proportions.
Normal Human Body Proportions
Normally, in adults, the height of the person is equal to the length of arm span.
The upper segment (from vertex to the pubic symphysis) is equal to the lower segment (from pubic symphysis to the heel).
In infants, the upper segment is greater than the lower segment and the height is greater than the arm span.
Infantile type of body proportion persists in
- Juvenile myxedema.
The reverse of infantile body proportion i.e., arm span greater than height and lower segment greater than upper segment. This occurs in
- Marfan syndrome
- Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Frohlich’s syndrome.
Interesting Facts About Body Proportions:
- The average adult human figure is about 7 to 7.5 heads tall.
- The idealized human figure is traditionally represented as being 8 heads tall:
- From the bottom of the head to the middle height of a chest (the place where a man’s nipples should be)
- From the previous position to the navel
- From the previous position to (upper edge of) the pubis
- From the previous position to the middle height of thigh
- From the previous position to the middle height of calf
- From the previous position to the point just below the ankles
- From the previous position to the feet
- *The pubis, or its upper edge, is at mid-height of the average adult figure.
- The length of the shin is equal to the length of the hip for an average adult figure.
- When the body stands upright, the length of the arm is such that the fingertips come down to mid-thigh.
- The arms’ wingspan (measured from the tips of the middle fingers) is about equal to the body height.
- The length of the foot is about equal to the length of the forearm.
- The eyes are at the mid-height of the head.
- The head can also be divided into thirds – from the top of the head to the bottom of the forehead, from the bottom of the forehead to the bottom of the nose, and then from there to the bottom of the chin.
- The width of the head is between four and five eyes wide.
- The nose is the length of the first two notches of the index finger (from tip) when measured from the very beginning of the nose bridge to the tip.
- The height of the face is about equal to the length of the hand.
- The eyes are separated by a distance of one eye width.
- The bottom of the nose to the corner of the eye is equal to the height of the ear.
- The width of the base of the nose is equal to the width of the eye.
- The width of the mouth is equal to the distance between pupils, or the width of two eyes.
*Data is based on European race.