Proxemics is a term coined by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1966.
Proxemics is the study of set measurable distances between people as they take part in social interactions.
The effects of proxemics, according to Hall, can be summarized in the following:
"Like gravity, the influence of two bodies on each other is inversely proportional not only to the square of their distance but possibly even the cube of the distance between them"
In animals, German zoologist Heini Hediger had distinguished between flight distance (run boundary), critical distance (attack boundary), personal distance (distance separating members of non-contact species, as a pair of swans), and social distance (intraspecies communication distance). Hall reasoned that, with very few exceptions, flight distance and critical distance have been eliminated in human reactions, and thus interviewed hundreds of people to determine modified criteria for human interactions.
Body spacing and posture are unintentional reactions to sensory fluctuations of shifts, such as subtle changes in the sound an pitch of a personal voice. Social distance between people is reliably correlated with physical distance.
According to the following delineations:
Intimate distance for embracing, touching or whispering
Close phase - less than 6 inches (15 cm)
Far phase - 6 to 18 inches (15 to 46 cm)
Personal distance (good friends/family)
Close phase - 1.5 to 2.5 feet (46 to 76 cm)
Far phase - 2.5 to 4 feet (76 to 120 cm)
Social distance for interactions among acquaintances
Close phase - 4 to 7 feet (1.2 to 2.1 m)
Far phase - 7 to 12 feet (2.1 to 3.7 m)
Public distance used for public speaking
Close phase - 12 to 25 feet (3.7 to 7.6 m)
Far phase - 25 feet (7.6 m) or more
Comfortable personal distances also depend on the culture, social situation, gender, and individual preference