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Assessing the female figure identification technique’s reliability as a body shape classification system

Parker, CJ, Hayes, SG, Brownbridge, K ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4668-755X and Gill, S (2021) Assessing the female figure identification technique’s reliability as a body shape classification system. Ergonomics: an international journal of research and practice in human factors and ergonomics, 64 (8). pp. 1035-1051. ISSN 0014-0139

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates the effects of slight differences in measurement definitions on resultant body shape classification. Ergonomic researchers consider the Female Figure Identification Technique (FFIT) a ‘gold standard’ body shape classification system to describe variation in a population’s 3 D profile. Nevertheless, researchers use FFIT without a scientific basis or considering their ergonomic suitability. This paper rigorously evaluates FFIT, focussing on ergonomics, garment construction, and scientific research applications. Through analysing 1,679 3 D Body Scans, we assess the level of agreement between the FFIT’s body shape classification when measurements placed following FFIT’s or SizeUK’s guidance. We establish how different interpretations of FFIT’s measurement placement cause the same body to be categorised into different shapes - in up to 40% of cases. FFIT omits shoulder measurements that have little relationship to body shape yet are vital in garment construction. Using FFIT with different datasets and definitions, therefore, leads to inconsistent conclusions about shape differences.

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