Investigation of Arm Span-Height Ratio in Relation to Proportionality of Measurements

Pages: 3 (862 words) Published: February 27, 2012
IB Internal Assessment
Investigation of arm span-height ratio in relation to proportionality of measurements Introduction
This study was designed in order to determine the accuracy of the proportion of man as outlined in The Vitruvian Man (1940) by Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci’s renowned drawing was based on the Roman architect Vitruvius’ description of man. Vitruvius stated that, “For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height.” The ratio in question is the arm span to height ratio, specifically for Asian-descent males. The accepted unit of measurement for this study is the centimeter (SI system of units). Should the proportions of arm span to height in Asian-descent males prove to be different than those outlined by Vitruvius, the ‘perfect man’ ideal will be nullified.

The consistencies when measuring the selected Asian-descent males were: 1. The environment- All subjects were tested in the same school. 2. Age- All subjects were between the 16-18 year ranges. 3. Conditions- All subjects were made to stand barefoot when measuring height, and when measuring arm span, the length between the tip of the middle finger on the left hand to the tip of the middle finger on the right hand were considered. Nails were not measured or counted, nor was hair. 4. Device- All subjects were measured using a 25’ (or 762 cm) long tape measure, made by Stanley Co. Systematic error was considered, with a range of ±0.5 cm. Once the systematic error is taken into consideration, the proportions measured are more accurate. In order to validate the findings and give depth to them, ten subjects were measured, and their results analyzed. Hypothesis

The proportions found in Asian-descent males differ from those stated in The Vitruvian Man. This theory is due to multiple factors. Firstly, da Vinci and Vitruvius, being of European...

Cited: “Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius”, 10/15/11, Web, 10/19/11,
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