SizeUK - results from the UK National Sizing Survey
In July 2001 SizeUK, a collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry, leading British retailers and academics announced the first ever UK National Sizing Survey. Three years later and the wait is over - SizeUK are ready to announce just how we measure up.
Between July 2001 and February 2002 over 1.5 million measurements were taken from more than 11,000 people across the UK using [TC]2 bodyscanners, a revolutionary 3D body scanning system. The survey has since been used as a basis for other sizing surveys, including SizeUSA.
Previously, the only comparable national sizing survey carried out in the 1950's used manual equipment to measure female subjects (previously men have not been measured). The new technology uses a series of white light stripes projected onto the subject via six projectors; the subject's body distorts the light and six cameras capture these distortions to obtain 130 measurements within seconds for each person, accurate to within 2mm. Volunteers were chosen across three national regions to represent both genders, across seven different age groups from 16 years to 95 years, taking into account ethnicity and socio-economic factors.
Experts from University College London, London College of Fashion, Mark Winston Plc and Shape Analysis Ltd have been working for the past 18 months analysing the data and have made interesting discoveries not only about average sizes in the UK, but also how we compare to Britons of the 1950's and to our American counterparts. The analysis of the data has been managed by Jeni Bougourd at London College of Fashion, under the supervision of Professor Treleaven, Director of SizeUK, based at UCL.
A press event will be held on 1 September 2004 where representatives from SizeUK, leading British retailers, London College of Fashion and University College London will announce results from the analysed national data including, amongst other interesting findings:
- Women - average bust, waist and hip size
- Men - average chest, waist and hip size
- Average height and weight of men and women
- The tallest and heaviest age groups
- Comparison between 1950's and today's UK men and women
- Comparison between average figures for UK and USA
- Average shapes for UK men and women
There will be an opportunity for visitors to see the bodyscanner in action, or to have scans taken of themselves or their models and information can be requested from the database about findings from the survey.
Currently seventeen leading retailers have access to a suite of sophisticated software tools enabling them to interpret and make use of the full range of SizeUK data for future clothing ranges. SizeUK and Bodymetrics, who host the online database of information, hope that more retailers will purchase the data allowing them to conduct their own targeted and customised analysis based on their customer profile.
The scope for using the data is extensive. The results of the SizeUK survey will affect not only the retail market, where improved fit and shape should reduce customer returns and increase production efficiency, but will also assist the motor and travel industries through better understanding of ergonomics. Scientific studies will also benefit; using a national profile of size, weight and shape, Body Mass Index (BMI) can be calculated across a national platform, with special relevance to current concerns about obesity.
Please note that these links will open in a new window.
- PDF of sizing analysis charts
- Image 01: Man representing average measurements from the SizeUK survey [PDF]?
- Image 02: Average woman from 1951 survey [PDF]
- Image 03: Average shapes of women who think themselves a 'Size 16 Dress' [PDF]
- Image 04: Average scans for women aged 16 -19 and 55 - 64 [PDF]
- Image 05: Average scans for men aged 16 - 19 and 55 - 64 [PDF]
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. Participating retailers:
With special thanks to:
Arcadia, Bhs, Debenhams, Freemans, GUS, Marks & Spencer
Other participating retailers:
Grattan, House of Frazer, John Lewis, Littlewoods, Monsoon, N Brown, Oasis, Redcats, Rohan, Speedo, Tesco
2. Press event agenda, 1 September 2004, 10.00 am
10.30 Welcome & introduction, explanation of technology and project
11.30 - 15.00 Bodyscanning, photo opportunities
3. Data Analysis Team
Richard Allen, Shape Analysis
Avy Tahan & Bernard Buxton, UCL
Mark Winston, Mark Winston Research
Peter Grant Ross & Jeni Bougourd, LCF
Yannis Duros, Somavision
4. What is Body Scanning?
Scanners, which resemble roomy photo booths, map the body shape in a matter of seconds. The scanner projects a series of white light stripes onto the person being measured via six projectors. Six cameras capture the distortions created by the body - the way the stripes curve over the subject describes the 3D shape. From this the scanner produces a so-called 'point cloud' of 100,000 - 200,000 points which is then 'skinned' and the body 'landmarks' - shoulders, chest, navel, hips etc - are identified using image processing software. Finally a virtual tape measure is applied relative to the body landmarks to extract 130 key sizes and shape measurements.
The UK has spearheaded the use of scanning technology to gather sizing information. Several European countries are taking the UK's lead and are replicating the work of SizeUK in a bid to harmonise European sizing.