Adjustments to McConville et al. and Young et al. body segment inertial parameters

J Biomech. 2007;40(3):543-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2006.02.013. Epub 2006 Apr 17.


Body segment inertial parameters (BSIPs) are important data in biomechanics. They are usually estimated from predictive equations reported in the literature. However, most of the predictive equations are ambiguously applicable in the conventional 3D segment coordinate systems (SCSs). Also, the predictive equations reported in the literature all include two assumptions: the centre of mass and the proximal and distal endpoints are assumed to be aligned, and the inertia tensor is assumed to be principal in the segment axes. These predictive equations, restraining both position of the centre of mass and orientation of the principal axes of inertia, become restrictive when computing 3D inverse dynamics, when analyzing the influence of BSIP estimations on joint forces and moments and when evaluating personalized 3D BSIPs obtained from medical imaging. In the current study, the extensive data from McConville et al. (1980. Anthropometric relationships of body and body segment moments of inertia. AFAMRL-TR-80-119, Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio) and from Young et al. (1983. Anthropometric and mass distribution characteristics of the adults female. Technical Report AFAMRL-TR-80-119, FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklaoma City, Oklaoma) are adjusted in order to correspond to joint centres and to conventional segment axes. In this way, scaling equations are obtained for both males and females that provide BSIPs which are directly applicable in the conventional SCSs and do not restrain the position of the centre of mass and the orientation of the principal axes. These adjusted scaling equations may be useful for researchers who wish to use appropriate 3D BSIPs for posture and movement analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anatomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Movement*