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VFT – Multivariate Anthropometry Testing Tool

Virtual Fit Trials (VFT) are a mechanism for conducting multivariate assessments of candidate designs. This spreadsheet performs this analysis for a number of measures from US Civilians related to the design of seated and standing work. The population data were created by reweighting detailed US civilian measurements from CAESAR and a recent UMTRI study to match overall distributions of stature, body weight, and BMI by gender in NHANES 2011-2014.

This workbook is used to conduct VFT by comparing the dimensions of a workstation to related anthropometric variables. The percentage of the male and female population who meet the specified one- or two-tailed accommodation criteria are calculated for each variable, and the overall accommodation is computed across variables using the specified gender mix.

Note: This is an update to the tool that Matt Reed and I created for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. That original tool and additional information are available here.

Additional Information


The Analysis tab provides an interface for VFT. Choose the dimensions relevant to the design and add the appropriate values. Leave dimensions that are not relevant blank — they will be excluded from the calculations. Both high and low values for a dimension can be specified, or only one. For example, only an upper limit may be appropriate for seated hip breadth (based on chair width, for example), but both upper and lower bounds on elbow rest height might be appropriate to evaluate armrest adjustability. Do not edit any cells other than those in green on the Analysis tab. Do not edit the data on the other tabs.

As part of the development of this tool, a set of boundary manikins were developed through principal component analysis. Detailed methods and sample results are described in the Appendix of HFES 100. These boundary manikins represent various extreme combinations of dimensions that can be used to guide designs. Note that accommodating the manikins is not guaranteed to produce any particular level of accommodation.


Note that this tool does not consider posture differences between standard anthropometric postures and those relevant to the workstation of interest. For example, normal seated postures would typically produce lower eye locations relative to the seat surface than would be measured in the maximally erect posture used to measure seated eye height. The population weights were calculated to achieve target distributions of overall body dimensions, but the populations have not been weighted to account for age or race/ethnicity distributions. Consider that the overall US population may not be the target population for any particular analysis.

Explore the Data

Data Explorer

A tool for exploring the distributions of many of the most commonly used measures.

Data Explorer Lite

A simplified tool for exploring stature, mass, and BMI.


VFT – Multivariate Accommodation Testing Tool Spreadsheet

Download the 2.2MB Excel Spreadsheet.


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