General document | Australian Defence Force Anthropometry: A Summary of Historic Surveys
Over the last seventy years a number of anthropometric (body size) surveys of Australian Defence Force (ADF) groups have been conducted. Typically, the main goal of these surveys has been to inform the design and sizing of clothing, while the main goal of a smaller number of surveys has been to inform the design of workstations. The purpose of this report is to summarise the populations sampled, methodologies used, measurements taken and key results of all formally reported and catalogued ADF anthropometric surveys.
An understanding of body dimensions (anthropometry) is extremely important in the military environment. Current day male and female Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel must wear a range of clothing, footwear, and protective equipment, including helmets, respirators, body armour and protective eyewear. Protective equipment must conform closely to the body, while minimising any restriction of movement and at the same time providing adequate protection of the vital organs. Furthermore, a sufficient number of sizes for each item of clothing and protective equipment are required to accommodate both male and female members of the ADF. Clearly, up to date information on the size and shape of male and female ADF personnel is required to optimise the design and sizing of clothing and protective equipment and to ensure a sufficient quantity of each size is kept in stock. ADF personnel may also be required to travel in or operate a range of land, sea and air vehicles, such as submarines, ships, armoured personnel carriers, and aircraft.
The Department of Defence is planning to acquire a number of new platforms in the coming years with the total cost for many of these acquisitions exceeding one billion dollars. If the Department of Defence can influence the design of these new vehicles, data on the size of the current ADF population is required to ensure the vehicle is designed to maximise the percentage of ADF personnel who can safely operate or travel in the vehicle. On the other hand, if the vehicle is an existing design and is acquired “off the shelf”, with the design guided by anthropometric data from another country’s population, data on the ADF population is required to determine the percentage of personnel that will be safely accommodated in the vehicle.
To support the acquisition of clothing, protective equipment and vehicles a number of anthropometric surveys of Australian military groups have been conducted over the past seventy years. Typically, the main goal of these surveys have been to inform the design and sizing of clothing worn by personnel, while the main goal of a smaller number of surveys have been informing the design of workstations. The purpose of this report is to summarise the populations sampled, methodologies used, measurements taken and key results of all formally reported and catalogued ADF anthropometric surveys that were conducted at least ten years ago.