A study of fifty women conducted in 1887 revealed that the corset forcibly contracted their waists by anywhere between two and a half and six bodies. The pressure it applied to women's bodies averaged twenty-one pounds but could reach as high as eighty-eight pounds. Tight-lacing was thus akin to crushing oneself slowly from all sides. As a harsh critic of the corset noted, 'It is evident, physiologically, that air is the pabulum of life, and that the effects of a tight cord round the neck and of tight-lacing only differ in degree.... for the strangulations are both fatal. To wear tight stays is in many cases to wither, to waste and to die.