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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 10:02 GMT
Longer legs 'really are a draw'
Lady's legs
Surprise, surprise: she really is attractive, the study suggests
People with slightly longer legs really are more attractive to the opposite sex, a study suggests.

Polish research found both men and women preferred a picture of a person in which the legs had been manipulated to be 5% longer than they really were.

But extremely long legs did not fare as well, the study published in the New Scientist suggests.

Legs that had been stretched to be 15% longer were apparently less of a turn-on than the original, normal pair.

People prefer a slight improvement, but not so that it becomes outlandish
Dr George Fieldman, psychologist

The original pair were seen as equally attractive as a pair that had been stretched by 10%.

The researchers at the University of Wroclaw distorted seven pictures of men and women, who had varying leg lengths to start with.

They showed the finished products to 218 volunteers of both sexes.

"Long legs signal health," said Dr Boguslaw Pawlowski, who led the research.

He added that he did not think Poles would be unusual in preferring the longer limbs.

There is a growing body of research which links longer legs with better health.

Most recently a UK study suggested that the shorter-legged may have an increased risk of liver disease, for instance.

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire New University, says while legs may not be the first thing prospective mates look at, that particular area of the body is an important one.

"It's interesting that those with slightly longer legs were deemed more attractive than the very long ones. People prefer a slight improvement, but not so that it becomes outlandish."


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