Anatomy Of Fitness
Can we INCREASE our HEIGHT?
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
We have been obsessed with height for a long time. Parents and family members hope (and sometimes expect) the child will grow tall. Traditionally, good height equated to good health, but studies have found that shorter people have higher chances of 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 ugly looking. Having said that, what is height? Can we as adults increase our height? Or it is entirely governed by genetics? Can kids increase their height? What are the most common myths relating to height? Let us understand the science of human height.
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.
Can we INCREASE our Height?
There are many techniques, products, asanas etc., that allegedly increase 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 procedures, yogic asanas are entirely bogus, and there is no scientific credibility associated with them. All studies prove that we do not have much control over our height, which is governed by genetics. Thus, we conclude that we can't increase our height as our genetics controls it.
Can Kids INCREASE their 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 methods seem to work only on kids because otherwise, it would be difficult to prove their efficiency. Infants and kids will anyway grow, and their growth is governed by genetics and nutrition. Whether kids cycle or do not cycle, whether they hang from a bar or do not hang, they will grow within their genetic framework anyway. Thus, we conclude that kids can't increase their height or control the rate of height increase.
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 development, if the nutritional intake is not met, it may lead to the island effect. That is because the body needs nutrition to survive and grow. Since survival comes first, in poor nutrition, the body compromises on growth and focuses on survival. Therefore, it may lead to a shorter height when compared to what was genetically decided. Malnutrition is known to cause stunted growth.
Height is determined majorly by genetics. 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. In addition, 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 increase height to its genetic potential.
#5 Drinking milk increases height:
No. Drinking milk may provide us with calcium, protein and vitamins creating a conducive environment for growth, but it does not by itself increase height.
#6 Height increasing insoles/ shoes make us taller:
No. Triggering some points on your sole cannot increase height. There is no scientific evidence that supports the theory of growing height by triggering pressure points on our sole.
Genetics determines your height. Environmental factors have a less significant influence.
We cannot increase or decrease our height or height growth rate at any age.
No technique, pill, supplement, herbal formulation, capsule, syrup, powder, acupressure, radiation, yogic asana can increase height.
Studies show that malnutrition can stunt growth in general and height in particular.
Now we understand, our genetics governs our height, and we can't increase our height at any age. We hope you enjoyed reading the article and busting the top 6 most popular myths related to height.
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