When is sitting height a better measure of adult body size than total height, and why? The contrasting examples of body mass, waist circumference and lung volume

Burton, R. F. and Burton, F. L. (2021) When is sitting height a better measure of adult body size than total height, and why? The contrasting examples of body mass, waist circumference and lung volume. American Journal of Human Biology, 33(1), e23433. (doi: 10.1002/ajhb.23433) (PMID:32530561)

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Abstract

Objectives: We aimed to establish which of sitting height (SH) and total height (Ht) is most appropriately used in the scaling of adult body mass (BM), waist circumference (WC), and forced vital capacity (FVC), considering likely explanations and proposing a suitable index for each. Methods: Data were from the US Third National Health and Nutrition Survey for white and black American women and men aged 20 to 50 years. Statistical analysis involved mainly correlation coefficients, the multiple regression of BM, WC, or FVC on SH and leg length (LL), and fitting of allometric regression equations relating each of BM, WC, and FVC to SH or Ht. Results: BM and WC correlated more strongly with SH than with Ht, and FVC correlated more strongly with Ht. Associations with LL were negative for WC, negative or nonsignificant for BM, and positive for FVC. Using round‐number exponents for Ht and SH, the allometric relationships indicated that appropriate indices are BM/SH3, WC/SH, and FVC/Ht2. Conclusions: Contrary to usual practice, BM and WC are better scaled in relation to SH than to Ht. FVC is slightly better scaled in relation to Ht, as is conventional. Interpretations involve the small influence of LL on BM and the influence both of gluteo‐femoral fatness on measured SH and of childhood health and nutrition on adult LL, WC, and FVC. It is evident that SH should be measured more often for research purposes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burton, Dr Francis and Burton, Dr Richard
Authors: Burton, R. F., and Burton, F. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:American Journal of Human Biology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1042-0533
ISSN (Online):1520-6300
Published Online:12 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC
First Published:First published in American Journal of Human Biology 33(1): e23433
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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