The growth of height is a complex process that begins with genetics. A person’s genetic makeup determines up to 80% of their adult height. However, other factors such as diet, exercise, and the height of other family members can influence the amount a person grows throughout their lifetime. These factors can also affect how tall a person will be in relation to their gender and sex. In general, men and women grow at different rates, and children can experience a growth spurt as they approach puberty.
Genetics determine the maximum height a person is likely to reach, but lifestyle choices and exercising to increase height can help people reach their full potential height. Some rare gene variants have dramatic effects on height (for example, the FGFR3 gene mutation that causes achondroplasia, an extreme form of short stature), while most genes have modest effects. However, these gene variants must be combined with environmental influences like nutrition to have a noticeable effect.
Most people don’t stop growing until they reach their adult height, which is typically around age 18. However, some people continue to grow for a few more years as adults. This is because the growth plates, which are areas of specialized cartilage near the ends of long bones, close during puberty. These changes are triggered by hormonal changes and can affect different individuals at a variety of times, depending on their personal puberty timeline, heredity, and nutrition.
People can increase their height by following a healthy diet that is rich in calcium and protein, and by exercising to strengthen and stretch the body. They can also take a few supplements to boost growth during childhood and adolescence. These supplements include methylcobalamin (vitamin B12), l-carnitine, and folic acid.
A person’s height is also influenced by the environment in which they live, including the quality of their diet and the availability of clean water and health care. This is why people living in third-world countries tend to be shorter than their counterparts in developed nations, which has been attributed to poor diet, infectious diseases, and lack of access to medical care.
The height of a person’s parents is a significant factor in their own height. Children of short parents are more likely to be short themselves, while children of tall parents are more likely to be tall themselves. However, there is a lot of variation in height between siblings with the same parents; brothers or sisters with the same genetic makeup can differ dramatically in their heights. This is because genetics alone only account for 60 to 80% of height. Many other factors contribute to a person’s final height, including diet, exercise, and the health of their mother during pregnancy. However, most of these environmental factors are beyond a person’s control and cannot be changed. Therefore, most people can only increase their height by exercising to lengthen and tone the muscles of the body and by learning good posture, which will help them appear taller.