Original paper

Shape and size of the body vs. musculoskeletal stress markers

Myszka, Anna; Piontek, Janusz

Anthropologischer Anzeiger Volume 68 No. 2 (2011), p. 139 - 152

published: Mar 1, 2011

DOI: 10.1127/0003-5548/2011/0047

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ArtNo. ESP140006802003, Price: 29.00 €

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The objective of this paper is to assess the relationship between the degree of development of muscle attachment sites (musculoskeletal stress markers - MSM1) and the length and circumference measurements of long bones and the body build expressed with the reconstructed values of body height (BH) and body mass (BM). The bone material (102 male and 99 female skeletons) used in the study was collected in the medieval burial ground in Cedynia, Poland. The authors analyzed 10 musculoskeletal stress markers located on the scapula (2), humerus (2), radius (2), femur (2) and tibia (2). The frequency and the degree of expression of muscle attachment size was carried out using the scale prepared by Myszka (2007). The scale encompassed three degrees of expression of muscle attachment size. Only changes of robusticity type (nonpathological changes) were taken into account. The assessment of body build of individuals was carried out according to the method proposed by Vančata & Charvátová (2001). Body height was reconstructed from the length of the humerus and femur using eight equations. Body mass was reconstructed from the measurements of the breadth of the proximal and distal sections of the femur and tibia (mechanical method) using twenty one equations. The equations were developed for different reference populations. The same equations were used for men and women. The correlation between the MSM and the length and circumference measurements of the bones was analyzed using the principal components analysis and the Gamma correlation coefficient. The strength of the correlation between the reconstructed body build traits (BH, BM) and the moderate degree of musculoskeletal stress markers expression was studied based on the principal components method and the Pearson correlation coefficient. A linear correlation was found between musculoskeletal stress markers and the circumference measurements and the reconstructed body mass, but no relationship with body height and the length measurements of long bones was revealed. From previous research it is evident that the relationship between the MSM and metric skeletal traits does not occur in every population. Divergent findings necessitate further corroboration of results on diverse skeletal material.


musculoskeletal stress markersbody heightbody massbody size reconstruction