Height confers certain benefits that many people will do anything to get. It boosts self-confidence and makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, especially as a man. Besides, it has been observed that being tall increases your potential for success. A significant number of chief executive officers of top corporations are tall individuals.
While some people try frantically to increase their height, others seem to grow taller with no effort at all. Observations have revealed that individuals from certain countries are typically taller than those elsewhere. Where are these countries and is there anything special the people there do to be taller? Read on to learn more.
Height and its determinants
Your height is simply how tall you stand, starting from the base of your feet to the highest point on your head. The measurement is usually done using a stadiometer and expressed in centimeters or feet and inches. Height is considered an indicator of quality of life and standard of living. People who are healthy and enjoy great living standards are thought to be taller.
How tall a person can get is the result of a combination of several factors. Most notable among this is genetics. Tall couples are more likely to give birth to tall offspring – conversely, shorter couples give birth to shorter children. Research shows that a person’s height depends up to about 80 percent on hereditary traits.
In men, a specific genetic profile known as Y haplotype I-M170 shows correlation with height. The average height of males in a country increases as the occurrence of this genetic profile rises.
Physical or environmental factors also come into the determination of height. Nutrition in particular is known to play very important role in the determination of how tall you will eventually be. People who suffer from malnutrition are hardly able to attain their full height potential. Poor nutrition stunts growth and there is historical evidence of this as well. For example, anthropologist Barry Bogin observed that Maya refugees who came to the U.S. during the Guatemalan Civil War grew taller than peers back home.
Human growth hormone promotes growth in humans, especially in children. This is why its levels are usually higher in such persons. The natural substance, which is secreted by the pituitary gland, gives rise to growth spurts that help children and adolescence reach adult height. Also known as somatotropin, HGH stimulates the production of the growth inducing insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the liver. This then means low levels can result in stunted growth.
Particular height is usually characteristic of a group or population when individuals in such have similar genetic makeup and are exposed to the same environmental factors.
Countries with highest average height in the world
Evidence from examination of skeletons show there was practically no change in human height between the Stone Age and the early 19th century. There were periods before the middle of the century when tallness increased and decreased, thereby evening out.
But there has been an increase in average heights around the world in the last 150 years or so. Observation reveals that average height in industrialized nations of the world has increased by roughly 3.9 inches. Tallness of individuals sometimes differ based on social groups or regions they belong in a country. Reports also show differences in average height between men and women in the same country.
Average height figures for countries around the world do differ between lists. A variety of factors may influence these figures, including small sample size, self-report, and non random selection of subjects. However, the following are a few of the countries you are likely to see on such lists as having taller individuals.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
People from this country are said to be the tallest in the world. But those who are familiar with average height trends over the years may be surprised to learn that Bosnia and Herzegovina has the highest figures. Average height of all citizens there is estimated at about 5 feet, 10 inches. This makes them slightly taller than the Dutch, who are well known for their tallness.
More people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are said to have the potential to be as tall as almost 6 feet, 3 inches. Estimate has it that more than 70 percent of the men in the country have the Y haplotype I-M170 genetic profile favorable for height. By contrast, only around 35 percent of Dutch men have it. But poverty makes it hard for the full potential to be achieved.
Many people think of the Netherlands as having the tallest people in the world, on average. The tallness of the Dutch has been widely known for a long time. This is why some persons may be surprised that Herzegovinians are taller. The average height for both men and women is calculated at 5 feet, 9.75 inches. You can now understand why official buildings in the European countries tend to have taller doorways.
But it hasn’t always been this way. The Dutch were regarded among the shorter people around mid to late 19th century. For example, the average height of a Dutch soldier was 5 feet, 5 inches circa 1860. Improved diet and better quality of life have contributed to make the people rank among the tallest in the world. A study published in 2015 indicated that genes the Dutch carry may have also been a factor.
Those who know something about the region Montenegro is situated may not be really that much taken aback finding it boasts some of the tallest people in the world. The country is in the Dinaric Alps, where average male height is estimated at slightly over 6 feet, one inch. Montenegrins are about 5 feet, 9.25 inches tall on average.
The gene pool of Montenegrins is of course a key factor in their tallness. A diet that features Italian, Hungarian and Turkish cuisine also contributes.
Standing about the same height as the Montenegrins, Danes have their place among the tallest people in the world. Their country has one of the highest per capita incomes in the globe. It is therefore among the wealthier nations in Europe. This translates into good nutrition and high standard of living for the people living in Denmark. When these are combined with good genes, it is easier to understandable why the Dane stand tall.
You are likely to find this Scandinavian nation among the top 5 on any list of average height of countries. Men and women there are known to have tall stature. It is said that the old Vikings of Norway were tall people. So, the trend only continues to present day. Norwegians enjoy great nutrition and high standard of living, thanks to revenues from their country’s oil reserves. These factors, in addition to favorable genetic makeup, promote tallness.
Some of the other countries known to have significant average height include, in no particular order:
- Czech Republic
You may have observed an interesting thing from the list of countries with greater number of tall people above: all of them are located in Europe. Some experts suggests tallness as a means of adapting to the colder climates of the continent.
Although considered among the tallest in the world, the Nilotic peoples living around countries such as Sudan and Ethiopia are hard to find on lists of the tallest. The men in those places are said to have average height of up to 6 feet, 3 inches.
What can you do to increase your height?
With all the benefits that are often associated with tallness, you may be interested in increasing your height. There are some things you can do to achieve this goal. However, it is worth knowing that your genetic profile determines how tall you can get to a larger extent. There is practically nothing you can do to change that.
Focus should therefore be on physical and environmental factors that you have some level of control over. We discuss below some things you may consider for increasing your height. You should note that you stand better chance of success as a younger person when applying some of these ideas.
Good nutrition For Maximum Height
European countries, such as those mentioned previously, offer great examples of the wonders proper nutrition can do your height. These have egalitarian populations with relatively more equal access to good nutrition. The people enjoy diets that are rich in high quality protein, which is essential for promoting height.
Proteins are useful for production of growth hormone that is known to facilitate growth and development in humans. Your diet should feature foods such as pork, beef, cheese, eggs, fish and dairy products. These offer better protein than you can get from other food sources such as cereals.
Fruits and vegetables also need to feature in your diet. These can help to guard against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are especially important if you are the type that smokes or consume alcohol. The vitamin D that is also present in fruits can improve the ability of your body to absorb calcium to promote bone growth.
Regular exercise may help you grow taller for different reasons. One of these is that it can improve release of growth hormone. This substance helps with bone formation and growth. By helping to lengthen bones, it can help you grow taller. And that is for exercises generally.
There are some specific exercises that are known to be more helpful for increasing height. These include:
- Bar hanging
- Pelvic shift
- Ankle weights
- Cobra stretch
These exercises mainly help to address spinal compression. They lengthen your spine, adding a couple of inches to your height. You can also improve the health of your cartilage and spinal discs by doing these exercises.
The benefit of this is mainly with regard to how it improves production of growth hormone. Research shows that your pituitary gland is most active in releasing this peptide while you sleep. But for efficient production to take place, you need to sleep soundly for sufficiently long amount of hours every night. The common advice is to get 7-9 hours for an average of roughly eight hours.
One of the ideas that have been suggested to enhance how your sleep can promote growth is to lie on your back when sleeping. You should not place a pillow under your head; instead, use a small pillow to raise your knees slightly. This is said to be the best natural position for the spine.
How you carry yourself can also affect how tall you look. So, improving your posture may be one thing you need to do improve your height. Slouching or slumping posture can make you appear shorter than you really are. Endeavor to always stand with your chin raised a little and shoulders back, with your spine having a slight curve. You should maintain good posture when sitting as well. Right carriage can also make you look more confident.
We already mentioned how vitamin D can help to bone growth and increase height. Exposure to the sun offers the best and easiest way to boost production of this compound. You should therefore work towards getting sufficient amount of sunlight every day. Walking or jogging around in the sun for about 15 minutes each day can the enhance levels of vitamin D. You should do this when the sun is not yet at its most intense. This can improve calcium absorption for longer, stronger bones.
Limb lengthening surgery
As an adult, there is little you can do to really increase your height. A limb lengthening procedure is one of the few options that offer credible means of adding a couple of inches to your height. But this is one very painful way of trying to growing taller. It involves breaking the bones in your legs and having metal rods inserted. Limb lengthening surgery is hardly worth the costs, discomfort and long recovery period that are involved. This is if you are not very desperate to adding just a couple inches, though.
Growth Factor Plus
Still on how HGH can improve height, you may want to consider the option of using a supplement that boosts the levels of HGH in the body. Growth Factor Plus is one that seems to fit the bill. This improves natural production of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). While there are other products that works in similar way, this particular one is focused more on increasing height. Its manufacturer says the supplement can even be beneficial to adults with already closed growth plates.
An important conclusion that can be drawn from the examples of countries with highest average heights is that your genetic profile plays the major role in how tall you can eventually be. Good nutrition, regular exercise and good medical care also contribute to height in humans. Efforts geared toward improving your growth hormone levels can help grow taller. Based on this, you may want to consider using a supplement like Growth Factor Plus on a regular basis.