• Anatomy Of Fitness

Can we INCREASE our HEIGHT?

How does our height increase? Can we control the rate at which our height increases? Or, it is completely governed by genetics? Let us understand the science of HUMAN HEIGHT.

We have been obsessed with height for a long time. Whenever a child is born, parents and family members hope (sometimes expect) the child will be blessed with a good height. Traditionally, good height equated to good health but studies have found that shorter people have higher chances of having a longer life expectancy. The University of Hawaii has found that the longevity gene FOXO3 that reduces the effects of ageing is more commonly found in individuals of small body size. However, socially, tall people are seen as well-built, healthy, and short people are seen as unhealthy and bad looking.

What is HEIGHT?

Human height is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head that is usually measured in feet, metres, centimetres or inches.

The alleged ways to INCREASE HEIGHT:

There are many techniques, products, asanas etc. that allegedly increase your height. All of them are fake as science says height is decided by nature. We cannot increase or decrease our height. We cannot increase or decrease the rate (with correct nutrition) at which our height increases. The height increase products, supplements, herbal formulations, capsules, syrups, powders, acupressure techniques, radiation procedure, yogic asanas are completely bogus and there is no scientific credibility associated with them.

Kids and HEIGHT:

The traditionally believed height increase techniques like cycling, swimming, running, hanging from a bar etc. are myths and have nothing to do with increasing or decreasing height. Many techniques are said to only work on kids because otherwise, it would be difficult to prove their efficiency. Infants and kids will anyway grow and this growth is governed by their genetics and nutrition. Whether kids cycle or do not cycle, whether hang or do not hang, they will grow anyway in their genetic framework.

The ISLAND EFFECT:

The term ISLAND EFFECT comes from studies that observed how growth and height were affected when resources were limited as seen on an island. In the early years of growth, if the nutritional intake is not met, it may lead to ISLAND EFFECT. The body needs nutrition to survive and grow. Since survival comes first, in poor nutrition, the body compromises on growth and focuses on survival. This may lead to a shorter height when compared to what was genetically decided. Malnutrition is known to stunt growth.

Height is determined majorly by genetics and environmental factors like lifestyle, sleep cycles etc. have a less significant influence.

Let’s bust top 6 world-famous MYTHS relating to HEIGHT:

#1 Cycling increases height:

No. Height is governed by genetics and nutrition. Studies prove that cycling has no relation to height.

#2 Hanging from a bar increases height:

Hanging from a bar reverses spine compression resulting in a temporary increase in height. Once we are back on our feet, the spine compresses again resulting in the height getting back to normal.

#3 Swimming increases height:

No. Just as hanging from a bar decompresses the spine, swimming too temporarily decompresses the spine resulting in a temporary increase in height. Once we are back on our feet, the spine compresses again resulting in the height getting back to normal.

#4 Weight lifting decreases (or stunts) height:

No. Weight lifting does not stunt growth. It may in fact help increase muscle mass, increase bone density and maintain healthy levels of growth hormones like testosterone, which also helps in increasing height.

#5 Drinking milk increases height:

No. Drinking milk may provide us with calcium and vitamins creating a conducive environment for growth but it does not increase height by itself.

#6 Height increasing insoles/ shoes make you taller:

No. Triggering some points on your sole cannot increase height. There is no scientific evidence that supports the theory of increasing height by triggering pressure points on our sole.

Key takeaways:

  1. Height is majorly determined by genetics and environmental factors and we cannot increase or decrease it or the rate.

  2. No technique, pill, supplements, herbal formulations, capsules, syrups, powders, acupressure, radiation, yogic asanas can increase height.

  3. Studies show that malnutrition can stunt growth in general and height in particular.

Now we know the SCIENCE of HUMAN HEIGHT and that we don't have much control over the same.

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