Thousands of years of research have established that being tall does have its perks. Consider the fact that over the past 100 years, humans, as a species, have become taller in most parts of the world mainly due to improved health and better nutrition.
According to a recent study, tall people are considered to be less susceptible to respiratory and heart diseases and are happier, which invariably ties into living longer.
The research also points out some social perks like better confidence and higher IQ. You’re also looking at decreased chances of dementia and diabetes for women. In principle, being taller isn’t just about confidence, it provides several evolutionary advantages. (A century of trends in adult human height: eLife Sciences)
Let’s be clear, natural growth generally stops once you are past puberty. For adults, the chances of becoming taller are slim to none, however, there is one drastic way to expedite the process. Let’s take a look at one medical procedure that has been used for over a century to treat major injuries and increase height.
While considered the most extreme case scenario, radical surgery is the only approach that guarantees you an extra 3 inches. Commonly referred to as distraction osteogenesis, this procedure involves using metal braces to extend your leg bones. The doctor cuts your femur/tibia or in some cases both, and inserts metal braces. New bone cells grow over the metal braces after a while, giving the patient an extra 3 inches in height.
This procedure has been effective for repairing congenital defects and repairing traumatic injuries but has now become a popular alternative for people seeking to become taller. Note that the price tag on distraction osteogenesis is set at an outrageous fee of up to $100,000, so it all depends on how deep your pockets are.
Another procedure that does improve height is one that is used to correct spinal conditions. Although it is not meant for this specific purpose, it has does have promising results.
Lastly, some conditions tied to stunted growth are rarely diagnosed. Spinal issues such as Scoliosis and Kyphosis can be remedied using corrective surgery. This type of treatment can result in a significant improvement in your overall height. You’re looking at up to a 9-inch increment in spinal length, a figure that will undoubtedly make a huge difference.
Working out for adults is also a good strategy when it comes to maintaining overall health. While you may not be able to increase your height, keeping fit is a great way to maintain it.
The principle behind working out is not to look like a bodybuilder. The idea is to maintain low body fat. Looking lean makes you look taller just as much as well-fitting clothes create the illusion of longer lines. There is no specific exercise that guarantees an increase in height; your main aim should be to attain optimum health.
Some solutions here only work when a person is in their active growth period, mostly below the age of 20. Let’s take a look at some of these remedies.
Another approach that is typically reserved for children with stunted growth is hormone treatment. Some kids tend to be abnormally short for their age, but the main cause is usually chalked down to an eating disorder. If, however, after a change of diet there is no visible improvement, then Human Growth Hormone (HGH) treatment is considered as an alternative.
There is no conclusive scientific research on whether hormone therapy works on adults. What HGH does, however, is to strengthen your bones, enabling you to maintain your adult height, and posture. (Can height be increased after 25: health gains)
Note that like distraction osteogenesis, HGH treatment is invasive, and it may have certain adverse side effects, like organ shrinking. It is for this reason that the synthetic growth hormone is not recommended for adults. (Is it Possible to Increase your Height: Forbes)
Although 60-80% of your height is based on genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices provide an active contribution to growth. Your diet, adequate sleep, and physical activity levels are all factors that affect your overall growth. Here are a few pointers that will help you get insight into how your lifestyle can improve, or stunt your growth during puberty.
- Inadequate sleep inhibits the production of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Your body grows when you are asleep, so ensure you get between 8-11 hours of sleep to maximize this growth.
- You are what you eat. A balanced diet in your development stages is crucial. Good nutrition coupled with periodic physical activities will greatly increase your chances of becoming taller and maintaining your height during your adult years.
- Steroids stunt your growth. While some people think steroids help to increase height, it does the exact opposite. Even more unfortunate is the fact that it lowers sperm count, increases your blood pressure, and makes you an inch shorter.
There are many theories surroundings ways to get taller, it is important to know the difference between the myths, the half-truths, and the techniques that work. This article provides approaches that have been tried and tested over the years and have had promising results. Hopefully, you will find something that works for you.
I’m a family practice physician with a strong interest in preventive medicine. I trained at the Medical College of Virginia where I earned a medical degree (M.D.) and a master’s degree after graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology.
My philosophy? Strive to be fit and fabulous at any age! I show people how to do that through my writing.
Read more about me here.