“The discs in your spine get compressed from being upright all day,” says Todd Sinett, DC, a New York City-based chiropractor and author of The Truth About Back Pain. As you sleep, your spine decompresses, and you regain the lost height.
Roughly 60 to 80 percent of your height is determined by genetics, while the rest depends on environmental factors, namely childhood nutrition. “Nutrition is the most important environmental factor that contributes to height,” says Chao-Qiang Lai, Ph.D., research molecular biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Curious how tall your kids will ultimately grow? Here is the formula pediatricians use to predict adult height:
For girls: Subtract 5 inches from dad’s height, average this number with mom’s height, and then add and subtract 2 inches to determine a possible range.
For boys: Add 5 inches to mom’s height, average that number with dad’s height, and then add and subtract 2 inches to get a range.
To make sure they don’t fall short, kids should chomp a well-rounded diet of fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy, and lean protein, which supplies the vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in growth.
Numerous studies have found that, on average, taller people not only hold jobs of higher status (for instance, sales managers are taller than salespeople), they also earn more money. In fact, a classic study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that people make $789 more per year for each inch of average height they are. Looking at it another way, a person who’s 6 feet tall would earn $166,000 more over a 30-year career than a person who’s 7 inches shorter. The findings help up even after researchers controlled for things like gender, weight, and age.
“Height affects how individuals regard themselves, which is self-esteem, and how individuals are regarded by others, called social esteem,” explains study co-author Daniel Cable, Ph.D., a professor of organizational behavior at London Business School. “Social and self-esteem affect individuals’ job performance and how supervisors evaluate job performance, which in turn affects career success.”
In the 18th and 19th centuries, America was home to the tallest people in the world, but today that honor goes to the Netherlands. Today, Dutch men and women average 6 feet and 5 feet 6.5 inches, respectively. U.S. men average 5 feet 9 inches and women average nearly 5 feet 4 inches tall.The world’s shortest people, by the way, hail from Indonesia, Bolivia, India, and the Philippines.Just like your weight fluctuates throughout the day, your height can too. You’re tallest when you wake up and you may be as much as one centimeter shorter by the day’s end.
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