How to Measure Height

Measuring height is important for several school/college projects, your medical data, etc. It’s very important to know how to measure height. There are many ways to measure your height such as the wall marking method. If you want to measure someone else’s height then you can use a stadiometer or horizontal measuring board. You can also use many mobile apps to measure your height or any object’s height. For all of these methods, it’s necessary to make a proper body posture and head position. We will discuss each and every method.


  1. Setting Up a Measurement: 

Find a wall to use for measuring -

  • Find a wall to use for measuring: Find a wall which is flat and smooth without any obstruction and obstacles on it. A wall without any window or object on it. Its width should be more than your shoulder length so that your shoulders easily cover it and its height should be more than your height. The floor area should be flat and level. If your wall contains a mirror, then it would be great. It will give you accurate results by tracking your movements. 

Remove all bodily obstructions -

  • Remove all bodily obstructions: When you measure your height make sure to remove all bodily obstructions such as your shoes, hat etc. Also remove your hair accessories such as ponytail, hair clips etc. If you wear a bulky jacket then make sure to remove your jacket too. The reason behind removing all the bodily obstructions is to check whether your body is in the correct position or not. All these body obstructions cause errors in your height. It is necessary to remove all these obstructions to measure your height correctly.

Stand up straight -

  • Stand up straight: If you want to measure your height, then make sure that your body stands straight. Stand straight and try not to bend your body or body parts. You can take help from the wall to straighten your body posture. To measure correct height, make sure that your body parts like feet, shoulder, head, arms are not bent. Touch all your body parts with the wall so that you can get a straight body posture easily.

Position your legs together -

  • Position your legs together: Put your legs together while measuring your height. When your legs are away it may cause errors in the measurement. Make sure both your knees and ankles are touching each other. Both of your feet should balance your weight. Some people who have knee or leg disorders, should move their legs straight until they cause any pain.

Place your hands and arms to the side of your body -

  • Place your hands and arms to the side of your body: For a straight body posture, place your hands and arms to the side of your body so that they touch your body. If your hands or arms are bent or crossed then it will affect your body posture and height measurements. Loosely attach your hand with your body. 

Look forward -

  • Look forward: Point out any location in your room that is on your eye level. When you measure your height, look at that point so that your head is looking forward. Make sure that your eyes and ears are horizontal to each other. This is called the “Frankfort Plane”. This Frankfort plan indicates that your head is straight, not bent and looking forward. 


2. Measuring a Person’s Height Manually:

Use the pencil mark method -

  • Use the pencil mark method: In this method, a pencil is used to mark your height. Stand straight with the wall and place the pencil on the person’s head while the tip of the pencil faces towards the wall. Place the pencil on top of the person’s head and move it down until it touches his/her head. Now mark a point with pencil on the wall. You can also use tape to mark your height. After marking the person’s height, measure the distance between your pencil mark and the floor. You can also use other marking objects but pencil is the best to mark height because it can be easily erased when you are done. However make sure that you don’t mark too dark with the pencil otherwise it won’t be erased easily. 

Use a stadiometer -

  • Use a stadiometer: This is medical equipment to measure someone’s height. It has a measurement board fixed on the wall with a moveable rod at the top of the board. The person stands straight against the measuring board and the rod is moved lower until it touches his/her head. Manually you can see where the rod stops and note down the height. If you have a digital stadiometer then the rod will show your height in numbers which is easily readable. You need not push the rod on the person’s head, it’s enough to touch the head slightly.

Measure on a horizontal surface -

  • Measure on a horizontal surface: This method gives you an accurate measurement of your height. If there is any horizontal surface such as strature or bed etc. In the clinic where you can lay down on your back and look at the ceiling. Your knees should be touching each other. Now use measurement tape to measure the person’s height from toe to head. This method is useful for short height people. It can make errors while measuring long height people. So, use the stand up wall method to measure a long person’s height. This method is good for measuring the height of a child and infant.

Use a specialized horizontal headboard and footboard device -

  • Use a specialized horizontal headboard and footboard device: This is the best method to measure infants height. Lay the infant on the bed and move the headboard and footboard device until it touches head and feet respectively. Then measure board to board to determine height of an infant. Some other advanced devices are present in pediatrician clinics to measure the height of infants. 

Record the final measurement -

  • Record the final measurement: It would be easy if you have two people to measure someone’s height. One person measures the height while the other one notes down the measurements in a book. If you measure the height on your own then you should write the measurements immediately after measuring height because of the accuracy. Make sure to measure your height two times to double check your reading. Compare both readings to check the accuracy and remove if any error is present. 


There are many manual and as well as digital methods to measure height. Accuracy in measurement is very important. For accurate measurements of your height make sure you have correct body posture. Make sure that your body stands straight, your eyes and head looking forward, both knees and ankles should touch each other, your hands and arms rest at the side of your body and all bodily obstructions like jackets, shoes should be removed to avoid errors in your measurements. Methods such as pencil mark method is used to measure height by pencil marking while horizontal surface method is used to measure height by laying down on bed or any flat surface. There are also many devices that are used to measure height such as a stadiometer to measure adult or long height people while horizontal headboard and footboard devices are used to measure heights of infants. Make sure to double check your reading to get an accurate measurement of your height.

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