Anthropometry

The main equipment required for anthropometric measurements are:

  • scales for measuring weight
  • boards for measuring height and length
  • mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tapes
  • standard weights and length measures for calibrating the equipment.

Issues to consider when selecting anthropometric equipment include:

  • The population group(s) being assessed.
  • The availability of equipment used in a previous survey. If it is not possible to purchase new scales, those available from a previous survey should be recalibrated by the manufacturer before reuse. The manufacturer should provide a warranty that the scales have been properly recalibrated to their original standard.1
  • The budget available for purchasing equipment that has the required accuracy, reliability, portability and ease of use. If purchased internationally and shipped, allow time for shipping and release from customs, as well funds for potential shipping fees.

The Equipment and supplies list (more complex worksheet) online tool provides details of anthropometry equipment recommended for field surveys.

  1. Recommendations for data collection, analysis and reporting on anthropometric indicators in children under 5 years old. Geneva: World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); 2019. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/324791/9789241515559-eng.pdf, accessed 15 July 2019). 

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