Human height or stature is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body, standing erect. It is measured using a stadiometer, usually in centimetres when using the metric system, or feet and inches when using the imperial system.
The study of measurement of the human body, such as weight, standing height, and skinfold thickness, is called anthropometry. Anthropo comes from the Greek word meaning “human.” Metry comes from the word “metron,” which means “measure.”
Scientists use these measurements for nutrition assessment and to come up with averages and trends in human growth. Designers can even use anthropometric data to create more ergonomic spaces, furniture, and assistive devices.
The data is also used in national growth charts and to help track changes to disease risk or body composition that might be expected over a person’s lifespan. That’s why we know what we do about height.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters). That’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
This number comes from data published in December 2018. The data was collected between 1999 and 2016 as part of a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The analytic sample included 47,233 men and women, all at least 20 years of age. Participants reported their ages, races, and whether they were of Hispanic origin. The average height of 5 feet 9 inches takes all groups into account.
Does Losing Weight Make You Taller?
People from different countries grow to different heights. This may be partly due to genetics, but most differences in height between countries have other causes. Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (diet, exercise) or involuntary (illness) circumstances. Most instances of weight loss arise due to the loss of body fat, but in cases of extreme or severe weight loss, protein and other substances in the body can also be depleted.
Height is largely determined by genetics, and most people will not grow taller after age 18 even if they lose weight because their growth plates have closed. However, there are plenty of ways a person can improve their posture to look taller. Also, a person can take preventative measures against height loss as they age.
Height by age for boys
At 10 years old, the earliest start of puberty, half of all boys will be under 54.5 inches (138.5 cm). The median heights listed below are taken from a CDC chart from 2000:
|Age (years)||50th percentile height for boys (inches and centimeters)|
|8||50.4 in. (128 cm)|
|9||52.6 in. (133.5 cm)|
|10||54.5 in. (138.5 cm)|
|11||56. 4 in. (143.5 cm)|
|12||58.7 in. (149 cm)|
|13||61.4 in. (156 cm)|
|14||64.6 in. (164 cm)|
|15||66.9 in. (170 cm)|
|16||68.3 in. (173.5 cm)|
|17||69.1 in. (175.5 cm)|
|18||69.3 in. (176 cm)|
Height by age for girls
At 8 years old, the earliest start of puberty, half of all American girls will be under 50.2 inches (127.5 cm) tall. This means that a lot of growth occurs during a short period of time.
The following information comes from a CDC chart from 2000:
|Age (years)||50th percentile height for girls (inches and centimeters)|
|8||50.2 in. (127.5 cm)|
|9||52.4 in. (133 cm)|
|10||54.3 in. (138 cm)|
|11||56.7 in. (144 cm)|
|12||59.4 in. (151 cm)|
|13||61.8 in. (157 cm)|
|14||63.2 in. (160.5 cm)|
|15||63.8 in. (162 cm)|
|16||64 in. (162.5 cm)|
|17||64 in. (163 cm)|
|18||64 in. (163 cm)|