This work explored the relative and absolute reliability of three-dimensional (3D) anthropometry performed by skilled and naïve operators using a fast, pose tolerant whole-body 3D scanner device. Upon skin landmarking by an experienced operator (skilled anthropometrist, SA), twelve subjects (six males and six females) underwent a thorough 3D anthropometric evaluation by the SA and two naïve operators (NA). Using the same landmarks, the SA also performed traditional anthropometry measurements. All measurements were taken twice. Relative reliability was tested with the Pearson's correlation coefficient r and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC); absolute reliability was tested calculating the percentage coefficient of variation (%CV), the standard error of measurement (SEM), the percentage technical error of measurement (%TEM), and paired Student's t test. Results showed that intra-operator relative and absolute reliability was excellent for all and most 3D measurement items, respectively, independently of the operator's skill. Inter-operator (SA vs. individual NA) relative reliability was excellent as well; inter-operator absolute reliability was not acceptable for about only 30% of measurement items. Results of this work show that 3D anthropometry has strong potential in anthropometry due to high intrinsic reliability and less need for operator training vs. traditional anthropometry.
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