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Tall Facts

by richard 16. June 2014 20:15

Here is our random list of tall facts, we hope you enjoy and spot some you didn't know previously.

Tall Facts
  • You are tallest in the morning because the joints in your backbone pull apart slightly when you are lying in bed. During the day, gravity squeezes the bones together and you can lose as much as 1 inch (2.5 cm) of height.
  • Tall People Have Longer Legs The thighbone, or Femur, is the biggest bone in the body. An average adult femur is about 20 inches (51 cm) long - half the length of a baseball bat - and it's up to 2 inches (5 cm) thick. While individual lengths may vary, someone close to 7 feet tall could have a femur that is 24 inches (63 cm) long that's 2 feet!
  • The tallest Person on record is Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8 feet, 11 inches (2.7 m) tall. Since he died in 1940 there have been many contenders for the title of tallest living person. Pauline Musters who was only 21.65 inches (55 cm) tall, takes the prize for the shortest person ever.
  • As you grow, not all parts of your body get bigger at the same rate.
  • Height is a hereditary characteristic. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of your height is determined by genetics, while the rest depends on environmental factors, namely childhood nutrition. Here’s the formula paediatricians 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.
  • People grow at their fastest rate as babies in the first year of life, adding about 10 inches to their height from birth to age 1, after which height increases somewhat steadily (and nowhere near as rapidly) until adolescence.
  • Ever swear that your child has grown taller overnight? You may be right. Most growth hormone is released during sleep, so ensuring your kids get a good night’s rest may help them reach their full potential.
  • In the 18th and 19th centuries, America was home to the tallest people in the world, but today that honour 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.
  • It’s an old wives’ tale that caffeine stunts growth in children, says Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, a paediatrician in Westlake Village, Calif., and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Paediatrics. However, it does act as a stimulant and can cause irritability, sleep problems, and headaches, which is why doctors recommend that kids avoid it. What can stunt growth: cigarettes? One study in the Annals of Epidemiology found that boys who smoked frequently between ages 12 and 17 were about an inch shorter than their non-smoking peers, although a similar effect was not seen in girls. (Most boys are still growing during this period and girls are not, which could explain the difference). Certain medical issues, including food allergies, hormone imbalances, and heart, kidney, or liver issues, can also stunt children’s growth, as can certain medications, such as stimulant drugs for ADHD.
  • The taller you are, the greater your risk of cancer, according to a study in the journal Lancet Oncology. After examining medical records of more than one million British women whose height ranged from less than 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 8 inches and taller, researchers found that the tallest women had a 37 percent greater risk of developing cancer. “Tall people may have more cells in their bodies so there’s a greater chance that one might become cancerous, or the link might be related to levels of growth hormones,” says lead study author Jane Green, a clinical epidemiologist and research lecturer at the University of Oxford. Similar results may also apply to men.
  • 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 GBP more per year for each inch above average height they are. Looking at it another way, a person who’s 6 feet tall would earn 100,000 GBP more over a 30-year career than a person who is 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, PhD, a professor of organizational behaviour 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 another blow to petite people, science shows that taller folks are also perceived as being more attractive. In addition to factors such as power and self-esteem, leg length may be a surprising influence. People with shorter-than-average legs were viewed as being less attractive than people with slightly longer gams, a study in Evolution and Human Behaviour found. Sorry, supermodels: The study also found that having excessively long legs decreased attractiveness. There may be an evolutionary explanation for the effect, note the researchers. Very short or long legs could indicate “genetic diseases, health problems, or weak immune responses to adverse environment factors acting during childhood and adolescence.”
  • At the other end of the spectrum is a more rare condition called gigantism, in which people grow very tall, usually due to an excess of growth hormones during childhood often caused by a benign tumour on the pituitary gland. Marfan syndrome (also called Marfan's syndrome) is a genetic disorder caused by the misfolding of the protein genes. People with Marfan tend to be unusually tall, with long limbs and long, thin fingers. Marfan syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning that people who inherit only one copy of the Marfan FBN1 gene from either parent will develop Marfan syndrome and be able to transmit it to their children. Marfan syndrome is known as a connective tissue disorder.
  • It’s no secret that adults grow shorter as they age, but it may start earlier than you think: Both men and woman may begin slipping in stature as early as age 40, decreasing by half an inch a decade, says John Whyte, MD, MPH, chief medical expert and vice president for health and medical education at The Discovery Channel and author of Is This Normal? The discs in your spine, which lose water and begin to compress over time. Osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease that affects up to 10 million Americans, can exacerbate the problem.
  • The Scottish biting midge, a voracious blood-sucking bug, prefers taller and heavier people, found researchers at Rothamsted Research and the University of Aberdeen. Larger people provide larger targets, while producing more heat, moisture, carbon dioxide, and other chemicals that can attract insects.

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