Series: Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology Volume: 5
448 pages, Illus
Somatotyping is a method of description and assessment of the body on three shape and composition scales: endomorphy (relative fatness), mesomorphy (relative musculoskeletal robustness), and ectomorphy (relative linearity). This book (the first major account of the field for thirty years) presents a comprehensive history of somatotyping, beginning with W. J. Sheldon's introduction of the method in 1940. The controversies regarding the validity of Sheldon's method are described, as are the various attempts to modify the technique, particularly the Heath-Carter method, which has come into widespread use. The book reviews present knowledge of somatotypes around the world, how they change with growth, ageing and exercise, and the contributions of genetics and environment to the rating. Also reviewed are the relationships between somatotypes and sport, physical performance, health and behaviour. Students and research workers in human biology, physical and biological anthropology and physical education will all find valuable information in this book.
...the volume is a valuable discussion of the somatotype concept and an excellent compilation of available somatotype data. It should be among the reference books of human biologists and sport scientists. Robert M. Malina, American Journal of Human Biology "For those interested in somatotyping and already familiar with the field, this book should prove a valuable resource." Robert Walker, American Anthropologist "...well written and exceptionally illustrated with photographic material, as well as figures and detailed tables with a lot of data...Ownership of this volume is a must for all libraries and for everyone who is engaged in constitutional research, in general, and somatotyping, in detail." Albrecht L. Claessens, Quarterly Review of Biology
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