Women's waists

Women’s waists six inches bigger than the 50s

While there’s little joy in housework, it did keep women’s waists a lot leaner than they are today. New research out of the UK has found that ‘because they do less housework’, the average British female waist has expanded by six inches since the 1950s.

In 1952, the average waist of a middle-aged female measured 28 inches (71.12cm) – as they burnt off around 1 000 calories a day doing chores around the home.

But now with a range of high-tech cleaning gadgets to hand, and the local cleaning service on speed dial the average middle is 34 inches (86.36cm).

Experts believe changing diets have also contributed to the changes in body shape. Food rationing was still in place in 1952 and the average number of calories consumed each day was 1 818, where as today the intake stands at 2 178.

The recent study compared 8 000 Brits in the year of the Queen’s accession to the throne with the Diamond Jubilee year of 2012.

A spokesperson from Saga, which commissioned the research said: ‘Our research shows that the economic and lifestyle changes over the last 60 years have fundamentally transformed the lives of older people.’

While chores around the house are less arduous nowadays, sixty years ago, just 14 per cent of households had a TV with the BBC being the only channel.

Now with around 480 channels to choose from, it has become easier to put off odd jobs.

A recent study also discovered that the average pair of women’s trousers is four inches bigger than they were 40 years ago.

A size 10 waist has grown from 24 inches back in 1975 to 28 inches now.

The findings mean women who are a size 10 now would have had to buy size 14 trousers in 1975. And those who were size 14 then would be an unflattering size 18 now.

According to fashion experts, clothes makers have stretched sizes out over the past four decades, to hide the fact women are slowly getting bigger and bigger.

Gemma Seager, from fashion blog Retro Chick described the trend as ‘vanity sizing’.