Anthropometric study to understand body size and shape for plus size people at work

2015-11-16T12:21:01Z (GMT) by Annabel Masson Sue Hignett Diane Gyi
Over 60% of the adult population in the United Kingdom is now overweight/obese or classed as ‘plus size’ and as the incidence of being plus size rises the demographics of the working population have also changed. A first stage scoping study [1] found that fit (equipment, tools, furniture, uniforms and personal protective equipment) and space (circulation and shared spaces within the working environment) were issues of concern to plus size people. This suggests that aspects of the current design of the workplace are not suitable and may exclude plus size people and a better understanding of the anthropometric requirements of plus size workers is needed. This paper will present the findings of an Anthropometric Measurement Validation Study to establish if self-measured anthropometric data (including novel measures such as knee splay) in a plus size working age population is feasible as the data collection method for a larger scale survey. A sample of 20 plus size working participants (10 male and 10 female) aged 18 years and over were recruited. Data were collected for weight and stature, and 12 anthropometric measurements recorded via self-measurement and researcher measurement for comparison. Self-measurement was completed by participants following instructions in a self-measurement guide. Data analysis using t-tests found that the two methods of measurement (self and researcher) agreed sufficiently closely for 11 of the 14 measurements. This resulted in the self-measurement method being utilised for data collection in an ongoing larger scale anthropometric study to understand the body size and shape for plus size people at work.