The foot length to stature ratio: A study of racial variance
This research investigates the often cited observation that foot length constitutes 15 percent of an individual's stature in all populations. Using the measurements of samples drawn from two distinct populations, this thesis explores the differences in the foot length/ stature ratio between populations. African Americans, individuals predominantly of African descent, and Caucasian Americans, individuals predominantly of European descent, are measured for comparison. The subjects of this research were males and females between the ages of 18 and 26. Each individual was measured for stature, sitting height, and foot length. Statistical methods were used to calculate regression formulae and make comparisons. T-test's revealed significant sex and population differences in absolute, as well as relative, measurements. While no such differences were found between the average foot lengths of the left and right feet, significant differences were found in the foot length/stature ratios based on each foot. Regression formulae were computed for the left and right feet of both populations The results indicate the foot length/stature ratio of 15 percent is not applicable to all populations. This information is useful to forensic anthropologists for individual identification. Other anthropologists can apply this ratio in the analysis of ancient footprints or skeletal materials. Clothiers can use this ratio to benefit their manufacturing and retail operations.