Koreans' Body Shape Is Changing

      May 20, 2009 09:19

      Koreans are changing in shape from the stocky, heavy-headed warriors of yore, according to research by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.

      Compared to 1979, the length of men's faces decreased from 24.6 cm to 23.6 cm, and from 23.3 cm to 22.3 cm for women. The width also shrank, with 15 percent lower chin capacity for Koreans born after the 1970s. The shape of the head also changed, the forehead morphing from flat and narrow to more convex and wider. Overall, heads have become rounder, chins narrower, the mid-facial area longer, and cheekbones less prominent.

      Body shapes are also transformed. The average height of men in their 20s is now 173.2 cm, up 6 cm from 1979. As for women, the average height is 160 cm, up 4.5 cm from 30 years ago. In 1979, men were over 10 cm shorter than Westerners, but now Korean men are just 5.3 cm and Korean women are 5.5 cm shorter than Americans.

      Body proportions also changed. According to the study, both Korean men and women are now about seven heads tall. The history of Korean fashion shows men during the ancient Three Kingdoms Period were 5.9 heads tall, during the Chosun Dynasty 6.4, in 1979 6.8, and now 7.4. Women were 5.8 heads tall during the Three Kingdoms Period and are now 7.2 heads tall.  

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