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Whether fit or fat, UK manual workers are getting bigger

Many members of Britain’s construction workforce have always valued the opportunities they have for keeping active on the job through manual labour and avoiding having to sit at a desk all day.

New information from one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of professional workwear has now shown, however, that the average size of Britain’s construction workers is steadily getting bigger – and they could not say whether it was due to fitness or fatness!

Bristol-based Alexandra Workwear has revealed that the average size of the uniforms it provides for the construction sector have been steadily increasing and at a much faster rate than workers in other industries. The company’s category manager, David Harmer, said that they were facing demand for clothes with significantly larger dimensions, with the average chest size order increasing by five inches in recent years.

“The needs of our clients are constantly changing, and we consistently adapt our products to fit our clients’ specifications,” he said. “We’ve added new features to our boiler suits and other workwear that will provide added benefits and comfort to all our users, whether they are wearing the smallest or the largest size available.”

Among the new features that have been added include increased elastication in side panels to allow for greater ease of movement (not to mention room for a few more Gregg's sausage rolls at lunchtime). Features such as these have been added to clothes of all sizes, however, aimed at benefiting workers of all dimensions and working in all manual industries.

The rise in the average size of Britain’s manual construction work force is likely to have been caused by a combination of increasing brawn as well as bulge, with just as many professionals getting fitter and more muscular as ones gaining size through increased fat.

Julie Aughton, marketing manager at international workwear company, Snickers, added, “Over the past 10 years an increase in individuals size and weight has been well documented in the UK and to a certain extent this has been evident in the workwear market."