Notes: Indirect methods of estimating height, weight, and volume of persons.

Human Ratios 2.0; Linear & Circumferential Proportions and their Experimental (Approximate!) correlative measures, and further volumetric extrapolations and possible significance….maybe sort of, kind of..! — M.E. Notes, 3/28/15.

Chest circumference = ~2x femur length, ~2x Shoulder width, ~2x Cubit length, & ~3x Bicep circumference.

Waist circumference = ~2x Neck circumference, & ~3x foot length.

Waist diameter = ~circumference of bicep

Neck circumference = ~1/2 of Waist circumference.

Bicep circumference = ~1/3 chest circumference

Foot length = ~1/3 of waist circumference.

Thigh circumference = ~2x foot length

Cubit length = ~Shoulder width, ~femur length, and ~1/2 of chest circumference, as well as ~ 27% of stature. (For more on femur to stature ratio see: MR Feldesman et al, 1988-1996. )

Stature = ~3.7 x femur length, or shoulder width, or cubit length.

Approx. Weight Formula:

chest girth squared + Waist girth squared x 2.127, divided by 1728, x 55 lbs = Weight.

(*Note: ~ = approximate!) These ratios should not be seen as absolute, but are approximate and helpful. The first medical gentlemen to put forward these formula where from the middle 19th century. See Dr. John Hutchinson, and Dr. Brent’s research on chest girth to shoulder ratio, and other formula for estimating body weight from chest size, which Hutchinson concluded (as I do) that every 1 inch of girth is 10 pounds of weight:A Treatise on hygiene By William Alexander Hammond M.D., the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, 1863 Statistics, Medical and Anthropological, of the Provost-marshal …, Volume 1 – 1875

Experimental Notes, 7/10/2014.

Span of shoulders = ~femur length

Femur length = 27% of stature

Length of cubit = ~femur, and ~shoulder span.

Chest girth =  ~2 cubits, or 2 shoulder spans, or 2 femurs

Waist girth = 85% of chest girth, or chest girth minus 6 inches for men.

Estimating weight of person: Chest girth X chest girth + waist girth X waist girth = volume of abdomen in cubic inches. Abdominal weight is 47% of total body weight, so multiply by 2.127 to equal total body volume in cubic inches. There are 1,728 cubic inches in 1 cubic foot, therefore divide the result by 1,728. 1 cubic foot of ground beef (approximating human bio-mass!) weighs 55 pounds. 1 cubic foot of water is 63 pounds in weight, but a human being is only 70% water. 1 cubic foot of blood weighs 67 pounds. I have figured that one can estimate within about a 95% degree of accuracy someone’s weight if their chest or waist circumference is known. If it is not known, then a simple measurement of the span of shoulders, femur length, or even stature may be enough to give good approximations as follows: Shoulder width X waist width X depth of chest x 2.127 divided by 1,728, then multiplied by 55.

Example 1.

A 5 ft 10 inch tall man. Femur length is 27% of his height, or 18.9 inches. Chest is therefore 2 femurs, or 37.8 inches circumference, and waist is 85% of chest circumference, or 32.13 inches circumference. To estimate his weight:

Chest = 37.8″ X 37.8″ = 1428.84 cubic inches

Waist = 32.13″ X 32.13″ = 1032.33 cubic inches

1428.84 + 1032.33 = 2461.17 cubic inches for abdominal volume

Multiply abdominal volume by 2.127 to find total body volume = 5234.9 cubic inches.

5234.9 cubic inches of total body volume divided by 1,728 cubic inches, or 1 cubic foot = 3.029 cubic feet.

1 cubic ft of ground beef is 55 lbs, so 3.029 X 55 = 166.6 pounds for the man.

Another from of approximating weight:

Height X Height divided by 1 cubic foot, or 1,728 inches, then multiplied by 55 lbs.

5 ft 10 = 70 inches; 70″ X 70″ = 4,900 Cubic inches for total body mass. 4,900 divided by 1,728 cubic inches = 2.836 cubic feet, and X 55 lbs = 156 pounds.

This method of Height squared, and then divided to find volume in cubic feet, and mutiplied by the weight of bio-mass, tallies well with the ideal Body Mass Index healthy range of 20 to 25 devised by Quetelet almost 200 years ago and so too does the first method above, if the person’s proportions are approximately symmetrical.

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