Girths are circumference measures at standard anatomical sites around the body. The forearm girth measurement is a measure of the forearm at the level of the greatest circumference. See the list of girth measurement locations.
purpose: To measure the circumference of the forearm, as a measure of the underlying musculature and adipose tissue. Girth measurements combined with skinfold measurements can give a clearer picture of changes in tissue composition and distribution of muscle and fat.
equipment required: flexible metal tape measure and pen suitable for marking the skin. If a plastic or cloth tape is used, it should be checked regularly against a metal tape as they may stretch over time.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: This girth measurement is usually taken on the right side of the body. The subject holds the arm out with the palm facing upwards. The measurement is taken along the forearm at the point of the largest circumference. The maximal girth is not always obvious, and the tape may need to be moved up and down along the forearm to find the point of maximum circumference, which will usually be found closer to the elbow. When recording, you need to make sure the tape is not too tight or too loose and is lying flat on the skin.
reliability: Factors that may affect reliability include changes to the testing personnel, constant and even tension on the tape, and correct landmarking (finding the correct anatomical site for measurement).
advantages: low costs involved in the testing procedure.
comments: Clothing over the site should be removed if possible to make sure measuring tape is positioned correctly and that the correct circumference is determined.
- General description of taking girth measurements, and links to other girth measures
- A discussion about Body Size Testing
- Using MyoTape for girth measurement.
- Other anthropometric tests
- Videos of Anthropometric Tests