Comparison of Complex and Simple Anthropometrics in the Descriptive Anthropometric Assessment of Male Cyclists

Introduction: Compare the importance of complex (areas and volumes) and simple (lengths and girths) surface anthropometrics in the descriptive anthropometric assessment of the lower body of male cyclists from different disciplines. Method: Using a 3dMDBody5 3D surface imaging system and bespoke software (KinAnthroScan), anthropometrics of the lower body of 23 male non-cyclists and 57 elite male cyclists from different cycling disciplines: sprint (track and road (hill)), endurance (road, > 50 miles), time trial (road, < 50 miles) and mountain bike (cross-country and enduro) were collected. Results: Several anthropometrics differed between cycling groups and when compared to the non-cyclists group; the sprint group demonstrated the largest magnitude of difference with other cycling disciplines and the non-cyclists group, whereas the time trial and mountain bike groups demonstrated the least. Complex anthropometrics were able to distinguish between groups as effectively as simple anthropometrics, and in some cases, were able to distinguish differences that were unidentifiable through simple anthropometrics alone. Conclusions: Researchers, anthropometrists and practitioners should consider the collection and use of complex anthropometrics to improve the understanding of anthropometric differences within descriptive anthropometry, alongside adopting caution when researching groups of cyclists from different disciplines due to their differing anthropometric profiles - categorising them by discipline when possible.

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