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Body Proportions

While there is significant variation in anatomical proportions between people, there are many references to body proportions that are intended to be canonical, either in art, measurement, or medicine. In art, body proportions are the study of relation of human body parts to each other and the whole, essential for depiction of human figure.

In measurement, body proportions are often used to relate two or more measurements based on the body. A cubit, for instance, is supposed to be six palms. While convenient, these ratios may not reflect the physiognomic variation of the individuals using them.

                   Body proportions           Body proportions1

Some common proportional relationships:


1. The average adult human figure is about 7 to 7.5 heads tall.
2. The idealized human figure is traditionally represented as being 8 heads tall.
3. The pubis is at mid-height of the average adult figure.
4. The length of the shin is equal to the length of the hip for an average adult figure.
5. When the body stands upright, the length of the arm is such that the finger tips come down to mid-thigh.
6. The arms' wingspan (measured between the tips of the middle fingers) is about equal to the body height.
7. The length of the foot is about equal to the length of the forearm.


1. The eyes are at the mid-height of the head.
2. The head also can be divided into thirds - from the top of the head to the bottom of the forehead, from the bottom of the forehead to the bottom of the nose, and then from there to the bottom of the chin.
3. The width of the head is five eyes wide.
4. The height of the face is about equal to the length of the hand.
5. The eyes are separated by a distance of one eye width.
6. The corner of the mouth to the corner of the eye is equal to the height of the ear.
7. The width of the base of the nose is equal to the width of the eye.