Butt Tally

Your Wide Behind May
Weight on Commuting

Planes, trains and automobiles. Subways and ferry boats. Pretty much all forms of transportation these days are going through a gradual but inexorable change: all are widening their seats to accommodate our enlarging girths.
In other words, either transit authorities accept our outsized behinds or they’ll be the ones to be kicked in you-know-where. It’s a costly change, to be sure. But there’s something else, besides concerns about bottom line costs, or comfort, at play: safety.
It’s a bit ironic then that some of New York City subway trains are manufactured by Kawasaki, a Japanese company. And that it comes from there too the latest innovation in car seats: the butt-recognition system.
THE JAPANESE EXCEPTION
It’s ironic for two factors. As the U.S. population, as most industrialized nations, is getting alarmingly fatter, Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the developed world: 3%, compared to the whooping 32% for Americans.
The other factor is that in the 1980s, another Japanese company, Hino Motors, got a contract to build NYC buses and failed miserably. The reason: the seats were too tight. Something you can still see it Continue reading