Somatotyping: Development and Applications

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 10, 2005 - Science - 520 pages
The first major account of the somatotyping field in over thirty years, this volume presents a comprehensive history of somatotyping, beginning with W.H. Sheldon's introduction to 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. 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). The book reviews present knowledge of somatotypes around the world, how they change with growth, aging and exercise, and the contributions of genetics and environment to the rating. Also reviewed are the relationships among somatotypes and sport, physical performance, health and behavior.

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