Background: Height is an important health assessment measure with many applications. In the medical practice and in research settings, height is typically measured with a stadiometer. Although lasers are commonly used by health professionals for measurement including facial imaging, corneal thickness, and limb length, it has not been utilized for measuring height. The purpose of this feasibility study was to examine the ease and accuracy of a laser device for measuring height in children and adults.
Findings: In immediate succession, participant height was measured in triplicate using a stadiometer followed by the laser device. Measurement error for the laser device was significantly higher than that for the stadiometer (0.35 and 0.20 cm respectively). However, the measurement techniques were highly correlated (r2 = 0.998 and 0.990 for the younger [<12 y, n = 25] and older [≥12 y, n = 100] participants respectively), and the estimated reliability between measurement techniques was 0.999 (ICC; 95 % CI: 0.998,1.000) and 0.995 (ICC; 95 % CI: 0.993,0.997) for the younger and older groups respectively. The average differences between the two styles of measurement (e.g., stadiometer minus laser) were significantly different from zero: +0.93 and +0.45 cm for the younger and older groups respectively.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that laser technology can be adapted to measure height in children and adults. Although refinement is needed, the laser device for measuring height merits further development.