Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 608 - 616

Research article, Young investigator
Anthropometric Comparison of World-Class Sprinters and Normal Populations
Niels Uth 
Author Information
Department of Sport Science, University of Aarhus, Aarhus N, Denmark

Niels Uth
‚úČ Department of Sport Science, University of Aarhus, Katrinebjergvej 89C, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.
Publish Date
Received: 30-05-2005
Accepted: 25-08-2005
Published (online): 01-12-2005
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The present study compared the anthropometry of sprinters and people belonging to the normal population. The height and body mass (BM) distribution of sprinters (42 men and 44 women) were statistically compared to the distributions of American and Danish normal populations. The main results showed that there was significantly less BM and height variability (measured as standard deviation) among male sprinters than among the normal male population (US and Danish), while female sprinters showed less BM variability than the US and Danish normal female populations. On average the American normal population was shorter than the sprinters. There was no height difference between the sprinters and the Danish normal population. All female groups had similar height variability. Both male and female sprinters had lower body mass index (BMI) than the normal populations. It is likely that there is no single optimal height for sprinters, but instead there is an optimum range that differs for males and females. This range in height appears to exclude people who are very tall or very short in stature. Sprinters are generally lighter in BM than normal populations. Also, the BM variation among sprinters is less than the variation among normal populations. These anthropometric characteristics typical of sprinters might be explained, in part, by the influence the anthropometric characteristics have on relative muscle strength and step length.

Key words: Sprint running, height, body mass, anthropometry

           Key Points
  • The male sprinters were less variable in height, body mass and body mass index than the normal populations
  • The sprinters were lighter than the normal populations.
  • The sprinters were taller than the American normal population.
  • The female sprinters were less variable in body mass and body mass index than the normal population.
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