International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 318

Full Length Research Paper

Anthropometric measurements for young males in Saudi Arabia

Waleed Basuliman
  • Waleed Basuliman
  • Industrial Engineering Department, College of Engineering, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 October 2016
  •  Accepted: 14 April 2017
  •  Published: 31 July 2018


The purpose of this study was to fill the gap of not having enough anthropometric data for young males in Saudi Arabia. Developing an anthropometric database on Saudi adults will help the local designers, manufactures and producers to create more efficient industrial applications, and products for Saudi population. The study was performed in the Riyadh city, the capital and the largest city in Saudi Arabia, among a sample of Saudi males aged between 19 to 26 years old. 
Key words: Anthropometric data, Saudi Adults.


In spite of the importance of using the anthropometric database to make work environments safer and more user-friendly, specifically in what is related to the work and life applications, there is not yet a primary reference of the anthropometric database for the Saudi population.
The largest effort for collecting Saudi anthropometric data was done in 2009 (Taha et al., 2009) when 646 Saudis participated in measuring 38 body dimensions. The studies of Ramadan (2011) and Al-Saleh et al. (2013) also contributed in Saudi anthropometric database by providing a design of schools’ furniture for Saudis students.
In fact, although the anthropometric measurements for Saudis are limited in the literature, there were few attempts to provide anthropometric measurements in last decade.
The primary objective of this study is to provide the local manufacturers  and  producers with updated and  sufficient anthropometric data for Saudi adults.



A total of 93 Saudi young males from Riyadh city with ages ranging from 19 to 26 years old participated in the study.
Anthropometric dimensions
In this study, 18 different anthropometric dimensions were measured. They provide appropriate information for designing several industrial and applications in workplaces. The anthro-pometric dimensions were:
(1) Stature
(2) Elbow height (Standing)
(3) Upper limb length
(4) Overhead grip reach (standing)
(5) Chest depth
(6) Sitting height
(7) Shoulder height (sitting)
(8) Shoulder elbow length
(9) Elbow rest height (sitting)
(10) Overhead grip reach (sitting)
(11) Knee height
(12) Popliteal height
(13) Buttock-knee length
(14) Buttock-Popliteal length
(15) Thigh clearance
(16) Breadth across elbows
(17) Hip breadth (sitting), and
(18) Weight.
Six sets of the equipment were used to collect all data required for this study. These instruments consisted of the following:
(1) Large Lafayettee anthropometer (Model 01290, range of 0-60±cm in 0.1 cm increments)
(2) Fixed Lafayettee anthropometer (0 to 2100±mm with straight probes, and curved measuring branches)
(3) Chest depth Caliper (Model 01140)
(4) Adjustable stool
(5) Stadiometer (seca 217, measuring up to 225 cm with extended bar), and
(6) Balance scale (0.1 to180±0.1 kg).
Measuring procedure
The collecting of these measurements was carried out by trained team for the period from August 2013 until  March  2014. The  team participated equally in the activities, one for measuring the dimensions and other for assisting the positioning of the participant as well as recording the measurements in the survey's form. Before starting the measurements, each participant was informed about the purpose of the study and his duties.
The participants were given a brief introduction to understanding the structure of the survey as well as the measuring techniques in the experiment. The participants' dimensions were measured in standing and sitting positions, and were taken inside the King Saud University Human Factors’ Lab. All participants wore light clothing without shoes and were in good health condition. The measurements were taken in sessions, usually from morning till the afternoon.
Each participant in this study was engaged individually, and the measurements were taken for him on the right side (Hertzberg, 1968; Lohman et al., 1988). After the checking process, the data was analyzed by using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS®), and Microsoft® Windows Version 7. The descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation and the 5th, 95th percentiles) were reported to describe the characteristics of the participants.


The descriptive statistic, mean, standard deviations (SD), 5 and 95th percentile values of Saudi adults were considered. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show the changes in the height and weight of the participants cross the age. Table 1 shows the results of the anthropometric measurements of the Saudi male adults. Table 2 presents the body proportions to the mean stature.
The means, standard deviations of age, stature, sitting height and weight were 21.6±(1.3) years; 173.2±(6.5) cm, 88.8±(6.2) cm,   and  80.58±(22.7)  kg,  respectively.  The mean of the body mass index (BMI) was 26.8 which indicate that the Saudi adults are overweight as per the definition of the (World Health Organization (WHO). The 5 and 95th percentile values were 17.6 and 40.9, respectively.
The results indicate that 5% of the subjects are underweight, and 5% of are categorized as obese. The mean of the relative sitting height (RSH) was 0.51 and 0.48 and 0.54 for the 5th and 95th percentile, respectively. These  values  indicate  that  Saudi adults have long-legs (Pheasant, 1996) (Tables 1 and 2).


The main contribution of this study is providing a new dataset of anthropometric measurements for Saudi young males. The measurements were reported in table with mean, standard deviations, 5th, and 95th percentiles, along with the body mass index (BMI) and relative sitting height (RSH). The anthropometric results from this study could be used to provide safer and user-friendly workstations, tools, and school furniture for Saudi Arabian population. It could be also applied to enhance any existing human-machine system used in Saudi Arabia, by providing the correct body size dimensions and accurate measurements. 


The study essentially was performed to provide new anthropometric measurements for Saudi young males, but more attempts could be carried out leading to extend the results of this research. This includes exploring additional body dimensions, and studying the anthropometric dimensions while body position is moving. In fact, this will help providing more functionality dimensions and database for the designers and manufactures. Additionally, it would be recommended to update the anthropometric measurements frequently to keep anthropometric information as up to date and representative of the current Saudi population as possible.



The author has not declared any conflict of interests.



This work was supported and funded by the Engineering Research Center, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia (Department of Industrial Engineering, 2013).



Al-Saleh K, Ramadan M, Al-AlShaikh R (2013). Ergonomically adjustable school furniture for male students. Educational Research and Reviews - Academic Journals 8:943-955.


Hertzberg H (1968). The Conference on Standardization of anthropometric techniques and terminology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 28(1):1-16.


Lohman T, Roche A, Martorell R (1988). Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual. Human Kinetics Books. Champaign, Illinois


Pheasant S (1996). Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and Design. Second Edition, Taylor & Francis, London, New York, Philadelphia.


Ramadan M (2011). Does Saudi school furniture meet ergonomics requirements? WORK: A J. Prevention, Assessment, Rehabilitation 38(2):93-102


Taha Z, Jomoah I, Zadry H (2009). A study of anthropometric characteristic between Malaysian and Saudi Arabian males aged 20 to 30 years. Journal of Human Ergology 38:27-32.


World Health Organization (WHO). Global Statistical and Examination Report-2012. Retrieved from