‘Mongolian children have hunchback and dropped right shoulders’

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The Clothing Research Center of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology presented results of the Study on the Physiques of Mongolian Children on Tuesday.

The body standard of Mongolian children was last determined through research in 1995 and since then, there has been significant changes to children’s body shape, growth and measurements, according to researchers.
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry requested the center to conduct this study on Mongolian children’s physique to provide better fitting school uniforms for students and more comfortable desks and chairs that are compatible with their height and growth. 

Reportedly, countries around the globe renew standards on children’s body form, size, and development every five to 10 years. However, Mongolia revised the standard for the first time in 24 years.
The center took 63 types of body measurements from 1.82 million children living in Ulaanbaatar, Tuv, Khovd, Orkhon, Dornogovi, Dornod, and Sukhbaatar provinces. 

“The body standard of Mongolian children was studied in 1985 and approved in 1995. Twenty-four years have passed since. The Study on the Physiques of Mongolian Children aimed to take 3D body measurements of children between the ages of six and 18 in order to create a database and develop a standard. The equipment used for 3D scans meets international standards and is used worldwide. The database, on the other hand, has high security and will be used only to determine the average body shape and size of Mongolian children,” said D.Ariunbolor, director of the Clothing Research Center.

The study revealed children living in central Orkhon Province and Ulaanbaatar tend to be taller, while children in some provinces are relatively shorter. Interestingly, children living in Ulaanbaatar are usually hunchbacked and have dropped right shoulders, according to the study. This shows that heavy school bags influenced children’s physical development over time.
Researchers didn’t find dramatic changes when comparing physical developments of children in 1985 and 2018 by age. However, the standard needed to be updated as there had been major changes to the education curriculum, said a researcher. In particular, children used to enter school at the age of eight in 1985, but now, children are enrolled into primary school at the age of six and the total years children have to study in general education school increased from 10 to 12 years. Considering this, officials decided to improve school uniforms so that it better fits students.

“Compared to results of a similar research conducted by researcher G.Amgalan in 2008, the average height of six-year-old children rose by 6.9 centimeters and the average height of 17-year-old children grew by 2.7 centimeters,” stated R.Yumjirmaa, a professor at the School of Industry and Technology of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology

Average heights of children were determined as follows:

  • Primary school-aged children – girls are 128.4 centimeters, boys are 129.6 centimeters
  • Middle school-age children – girls are 140 centimeters, boys are 142 centimeters
  • High school-age children – girls are 158.2 centimeters, boys are 169 centimeters

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan