A comparison between Chinese and Caucasian head shapes

Appl Ergon. 2010 Oct;41(6):832-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Univariate anthropometric data have long documented a difference in head shape proportion between Chinese and Caucasian populations. This difference has made it impossible to create eyewear, helmets and facemasks that fit both groups well. However, it has been unknown to what extend and precisely how the two populations differ from each other in form. In this study, we applied geometric morphometrics to dense surface data to quantify and characterize the shape differences using a large data set from two recent 3D anthropometric surveys, one in North America and Europe, and one in China. The comparison showed the significant variations between head shapes of the two groups and results demonstrated that Chinese heads were rounder than Caucasian counterparts, with a flatter back and forehead. The quantitative measurements and analyses of these shape differences may be applied in many fields, including anthropometrics, product design, cranial surgery and cranial therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Cephalometry*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult