A literature review of anthropometric studies of school students for ergonomics purposes: Are accuracy, precision and reliability being considered?

G. Bravo, S. Bragança, P.M. Arezes, J.F.M. Molenbroek, H.I. Castellucci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Despite offering many benefits, direct manual anthropometric measurement method can be problematic due to their vulnerability to measurement errors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this literature review was to determine, whether or not the currently published anthropometric studies of school children, related to ergonomics, mentioned or evaluated the variables precision, reliability or accuracy in the direct manual measurement method. METHODS: Two bibliographic databases, and the bibliographic references of all the selected papers were used for finding relevant published papers in the fields considered in this study. RESULTS: Forty-six (46) studies met the criteria previously defined for this literature review. However, only ten (10) studies mentioned at least one of the analyzed variables, and none has evaluated all of them. Only reliability was assessed by three papers. Moreover, in what regards the factors that affect precision, reliability and accuracy, the reviewed papers presented large differences. This was particularly clear in the instruments used for the measurements, which were not consistent throughout the studies. Additionally, it was also clear that there was a lack of information regarding the evaluators' training and procedures for anthropometric data collection, which are assumed to be the most important issues that affect precision, reliability and accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the review of the literature, it was possible to conclude that the considered anthropometric studies had not focused their attention to the analysis of precision, reliability and accuracy of the manual measurement methods. Hence, and with the aim of avoiding measurement errors and misleading data, anthropometric studies should put more efforts and care on testing measurement error and defining the procedures used to collect anthropometric data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

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  • Anthropometry
  • measurements
  • repeatability


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