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  • Writer's pictureDr. Yuksel Yurttas

Is Height Genetic? 7 Factors that Influence Human Height

Human height has been a symbol of power and authority among people for generations. While many believe that height is a fixed trait determined solely by genes, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that one's physical stature is influenced by a variety of factors, such as environment, nutrition, hormones, and medical conditions. In this article, you will learn about the factors that affect height growth and how to potentially increase your height at any age.


Here are the seven factors that influence a person's height:


1. DNA

DNA Animation

The primary factor determining a person's height is DNA or heredity. Heredity is the process through which genes transmit physical traits from parents to their offspring. This affects numerous aspects of an individual's body, including height, weight, body shape, eye color, hair color, and even intelligence. It is believed that DNA accounts for 80% of the influence on human height. Consequently, if you come from a family with short stature due to genetic factors, you are more likely to be short as well.


2. Hormones

Growth hormone

Three hormones play crucial roles in promoting human growth. These are:

  • Growth hormones: The pituitary gland produces growth hormones, which are the most critical hormones for growth. Some health problems in childhood can cause the body to produce less growth hormone, affecting height. If this condition is detected at an early age, a physician may recommend treatment with growth hormone injections.

  • Thyroid hormones: The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that influence growth.

  • Sex hormones: During puberty, testosterone and estrogen play significant roles in growth and development.

It should also be noted that sleep is an essential component for the proper functioning of hormone secretion in the body. Sleep supports growth and development in children and teenagers. The body secretes the growth hormones it requires while in a deep sleep state. Therefore, getting an adequate amount of sleep can promote healthy growth.


3. Environment

Environmental factors on height

Environmental factors are one of the main reasons why there is so much variation in human height. The social, emotional, economic, and physical environment has an impact on the growth and development of the child. Studies show that children raised in poor environmental conditions are much less likely to grow significantly in height.


4. Nutrition

foods that affect height
Bone health and development rely heavily on a diet rich in protein and calcium, especially during growth.

The development of children is adversely affected by poor food quality, rising food prices, and a lack of access to sufficient nutritional sources. When kids don't get enough to eat, they might not grow as tall as their well-nourished peers. In addition, children born to parents who did not eat properly during pregnancy are more likely to have growth and development issues.


5. Living Conditions

affect of living conditions on human height

Another factor affecting human height is living conditions. Different living conditions directly affect the average height of men and women. Studies show that people living in ideal conditions are taller than those from third-world and developing countries. These countries lack the necessary healthcare infrastructure and economic resources to combat the negative effects on people's physical and mental health and growth. As a result, men and women are significantly shorter than their counterparts in more developed regions with greater economic opportunities.


6. Gender

Height difference between genders

On average, men are taller than women worldwide. Additionally, boys tend to grow for a longer period than girls. The average height difference between an adult male and an adult female is 14 centimeters (5.5 inches).


In the past, both men and women were considerably shorter than they are today. Over the last 150 years, the average human height worldwide has increased by about 10 cm (3.9 inches). This growth is due to evolutionary changes and improvements in environmental factors, technology, medicine, and nutrition.


7. Physical Activities

physical activity affect on height
Although physical activity is one of the factors that affect growth, scientists have concluded that sports such as basketball do not have a direct effect on a person's height.

Physical activities, such as sports and exercise, are essential for growth during early stages of life. In simple terms, engaging in these activities helps to build muscle and bone mass. Research indicates that the average human height is higher in industrialized countries where sports are widely practiced.


What should be done for growth and development problems in children?


Many factors may underlie growth and development problems in children. When these problems are noticed, you should go to a pediatrician immediately instead of finding a solution yourself.


Is there a way for adults to grow taller?


In humans, bone growth stops at the end of puberty when the growth plates close. For this reason, it is no longer possible to naturally grow taller. However, advances in medicine and technology allow adults to grow in height permanently. Height lengthening procedure, also known as limb lengthening surgery, allows adults to grow up to 8 cm with one surgery and up to 15 cm with two surgeries.


The process of lengthening the limbs requires a significant amount of time, patience, and accuracy. To learn more about the procedure, browse our website or book a free consultation now.


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