This study investigates skeletal metric traits of long bones of upper limb and the relationship between these traits and human activity in males of a recent, well-documented skeletal sample of Italian population from the Frassetto collection (Department of Experimental Evolutionary Biology, University of Bologna). The study analyzes the impact of some human activities on the skeleton, taking into account the possibility of an assessment of functional stresses caused by these activities on the basis of metric characteristics. The data consist of measurements of linear and angular bone traits, obtained by traditional and new instruments. With the purpose to find out the best indicators of occupational stress among the measured traits and indices, univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were carried out. Then the results obtained previously were used to analyze a sample with unknown occupation. The efficacy of metric stress indicators is discussed.