Anthropometry of Olympic Athletes in 1928

A team lead by Professor Frederik Jakobus Johannes Buytendijk set up a laboratory for testing athletes at the 1928 Olympic Games. Anthropometric, cardiovascular, x-ray and metabolic data was collected, and published in "Ergebnisse der sportärztlichen Untersuchungen bei den IX. Olympischen Spielen in Amsterdam 1928" (Results of the sports medical examinations at the IX Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928).

The researchers examined 300 athletes, recording age, height, weight and vital capacity. Body types were also studied, and a height/weight index calculated.

The results of the best 22 sprinters in the world had a mean weight of 64.5 kg (142.3 lbs) and 172.5cm (5' 7.9") height, which gave a mean weight/height index of 2.17. He found that the 400m runners were slightly taller (175.8cm / 5' 9.2") and heavier (65.2kg / 143.7 lbs) (see the changes in the anthropometry measurements of 100m sprinters throughout the Olympics)

Physique of the Olympic Athlete profile image of a swimmer
from the book by Buytendijk, 1928


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