I am wondering if anyone can point me to (a scientific source that provides) the estimates of the dimensions (length x width) of the human back?

I am specifically interested in the dimensions (length * width, or surface) of the lower back of the average adult, and in specific the region between the 7th thoracic and 4th lumbar vertebra - i.e., the region between T7 - L4 in the image below:

Ideally a distinction is made between males and females and perhaps kids as well. The area of research dealing with this matter is anthropometry.


Please mention the source to any information provided. I have access to some not-scientifically based sources (clothing companies for example). Although additional such sources are welcomed, scientifically-based answers are preferred.


This doesn't really answer the question and I only post it at the asker's request.

NASA has measured the dimensions of the back in 40 year old American males and 40 year old Japanese females in the year 2000 at 1G. Of course gravity matters to NASA…

enter image description here

From figure (American male). All data in centimetres:

  • 921 Waist back
    • 5th percentile: 43.7
    • 50th percentile: 47.6
    • 95th percentile: 51.6
  • 506 Interscye
    • 5th percentile: 32.9
    • 50th percentile: 39.2
    • 95th percentile: 45.4
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for posting. I checked the NASA link and it contains several relevant references. Together with @OneFace 's comment it is likely the best answer possible. Several people have searched for an answer, including me on several long sessions without much of success. +1 and bounty, well deserved. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 26 '15 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD Glad it helped $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 26 '15 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes certainly. I Have to check up on the references still. It is a surprisingly hard question to answer. I am honored to have pulled you across 3k :) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 26 '15 at 10:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD Yes I thought this data would have been easier to find but, then again, I really don't know anything about it. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 26 '15 at 10:23

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