How to Tell if I Have a Long or Short Torso

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Backpacks come in various sizes to aid people with longer or shorter torsos and prevent back pain.
Backpacks come in various sizes to aid people with longer or shorter torsos and prevent back pain. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Your torso is the length between the base of your neck and the top of your hip bone. This length is typically proportional with your height. Your torso length would be considered longer or shorter than average based on how your measurements match up against the average length of torsos for your height range. Knowing whether or not your torso is considered short or long can help when purchasing back support or a backpack.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • A friend

Locate the bone at the base of your neck. This will be at the point where the slope of your shoulders meet your neck. Tilt your head forward to help you identify it easily.

Ask you friend to place the end of the measuring tape at the point you located in step 1. Have them measure down the middle of your back, along your spine.

Locate the base of your back. To find this location put your hands on your hips so that your thumbs are on your back.

Ask your friend to measure from the base of your neck to the point you located in step 3 and have them write down the length.

Compare the number your friend wrote down to these averages:

male height: 5'7" to 5'11," torso length 17" to 19" female height: " 5'2" to 5'6," torso length measurement of 15" to 17"

If your height falls above or below these averages compare your torso measurements to this standard, with extra small and small being a short torso, medium being average, and large being long torso:

Extra Small: torsos up to 15 ½" Small: torsos 16" to 17 ½" Medium/Regular: torsos 18" to 19 ½" Large/Tall: torsos 20" and up

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