A Tall Tale
History holds testimony to the tallest man in the world: Robert Pershing Wadlow. He grew through the years, concluding his vertical venture at 8' 11.1''. What intrigues us all? It was when his life drew to a close that he stopped growing. No wonder, the fame he garnered for his frame, certainly, didn't make him too big for his boots. For one, his shoe size was 37AA!

Your height is an extremely crucial aspect of your personality. Being tall, de facto, is an asset. It, certainly impresses the significant other. The fortunate, find the feature flaunting, while those floating on the other side of the fence, find it daunting. As a consequence, it is a multidimensional concept.

Averaging to Normal Height

What must be considered first is the height of your parents. You may also consider the height of your grandparents. You are likely to grow to an average of their height. Certainly, nothing is impossible and there have been cases proving this statement to a T. Chances are, the child may be taller than both his parents. However, a majority take to an average of their parents' heights. Besides, there are charts consisting statistical data to scale your vertical progress with accordance to your age and weight. Your health on the whole, the environment you live in, and the age, when your parents struck the pubertal age are variables that must be considered.

The Determinants

Race: Race is a very important factor. The Aryan race is different from the African-Americans. Likewise, the white native Americans are different from the African-Americans. Each race has a set of specific genes that affect the height.

Heredity: As we all know and have seen in most cases, a couple blessed with a good stature, more often than not, passes on the trait. If the impact is not directly from the parents, it may be the immediate kin, and those trends influence the height of the children. Genetics, in fact, is the most powerful factor determining how tall a person would be.

Lifestyle and Upbringing: The upbringing of children also has an impact on their growth. Obviously, height is an inevitable aspect of physical growth. Hence, children, who, predominantly have healthy food, indulge in physical activity and a sport, like basketball or athletics, probably grow taller than those, who have a contrary lifestyle.

Other Factors: The health of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the height of the children. It, actually is a trickle-down effect. The healthier the family, the better the chances of your children growing taller.

Improved Health Standards: In addition to all the above factors, better standards of living, better facilities, and improved health amenities have led to an increase in the average height of men. This is true with regard to women, as well.

Know Where You Stand

Country/RegionAverage Male Height
USA5' 9''
India5' 5''
China5' 6''
Japan5' 7''
Germany5' 10''
France5' 8''
Iran5' 7''
Iraq5' 5''
Italy5' 8'' -- 5' 9''
Australia5' 10''
Belgium5' 9''
South Africa5' 6''
Sweden5' 10''
Netherlands5' 11''
New Zealand5' 9''
England5' 10''

Tall and Short of It

Wake Up to a Taller You
Heard of height fluctuations? If you haven't, make way for this one. You are at your tallest, when out of bed. A centimeter or two ditch you as the day comes along. The reason: Through the day your spine compresses, courtesy of being upright. By night as you are off to bed, your spine relaxes. Your spine, if we may say, unwinds and resumes its original length.

Falling Short with Age
Shrinking as you age is as much a part as wrinkling, graying or balding is. The only difference: Not many people know about it! Well, the discs in our spine lose the content of water as we age. Contrary to what a lot of us believe, the process may start, when the youth of old age begins, i.e., at 40. The easiest way to hold on to your height, as far as possible, is to maintain a good posture. If you slouch to an extent of devising a premature hunchback, you may well be inviting trouble.

Walking Tall
As mentioned in the table, the average height of males in the U.S., currently is between 5' 9'' and 5' 10''. This is in the age group of 20 to 29. Within Americans as well, there are distinctions. White Americans are a tad taller than the African Americans. They are between 5' 10.4'' and 5' 10.1'', respectively. Amongst others, the South Americans, like the Mexicans, clock around 5' 7'' on an average. However, all said and done, the Europeans, by far, are the ones, who 'look down upon' (pun unintended!) the other races, when it comes to being tall.

The Erstwhile Colonial Era
In the colonial era, men were not very tall -- 5' 7'', according to anthropological and historical studies. Earlier people did not measure or document their heights. This is why, all the researchers have, are close-to-clear guesses, and information, which has been hard(ly) earned. However, there was a period, when no drastic increase in the height of men was recorded.

So, if someone compliments you for the enviable stature you possess, it wouldn't be apt only to thank your parents. The neighboring factors, too, have played their part! In short, you, certainly, owe your height to your parents ... and beyond!