Does exercise make you taller/shorter?
12-01-2003 02:09 PM
Does exercise make you taller/shorter?
This is the most knowledgeable board i know, so maybe you can help me with the question below:
Question: Can exercise stunt growth (namely height) in children/teens, or can it make them grow taller? Please include refs if you happen to have any.
Reason for question (for those interested): I've heard both of the above claims, but i have no idea whether they are fact or fiction or unsubstantiated hypotheses. What is a fact is that taller people earn on average more than short people (by about 2% more per inch in the USA). This however is not a causal relationship. i.e. research has shown that employers do not discriminate in favor of taller people, instead it appears that taller people perform better across the board in most vocations so they receive more pay raises & promotions.
The correlation between height and wage stems from teen height and wage correlation. So what matters is how tall you were as a teen (relative to other teens) rather than how much you grew after highschool, and again why teen height affects wage is somewhat under debate, but one theory, supported by strong data, is that teens discriminate against short people, and mostly so in atheletics. Taller teens are more likely to make it into the basketball team or football team, etc. so they have more chance (if you want to call it that) to develop team work skills, discipline, competitiveness and a taste for winning/success, which later on in life seem to translate into better job performance. however, all this research could be bull**** if in fact atheletics causes (significant) changes in height, so please if you know of any studies then point me in the right direction or include some refs in your replies. thank you.
12-01-2003 03:00 PM
Its an urban gym myth bro.
The force on the spine and legs when running and plyometric jumping is much greater than the compression force while squatting for instance. Unless a teen is squating 500 lbs, a growth stunt wouldnt be an issue.
So maximum lifts, competitive lifts puts more strain on the body. Along with the amount of weight and bad form can lead to growth plate damage but as long as a youngster stays strict, dont overload.... no worries about stunting growth.
12-01-2003 05:21 PM
thanks for the reply, but i'm still not convinced. i'm also talking more about general sports than just bodybuilding. though i would guess that the impact of moderate exercise on growth is negligible. just wondering whether it's been documented.
some people for example point out that most kids who do gymnastics from very early on and then end up competing tend to be short. either the rigrous training is stunting their growth, or it's just that short people tend to make better gymnists (sp?).
also, others have theorized that moderate physical activity can cause the release of certain hormones, including ones involved in how tall children grow, and thus kids/teens who do sports are more likely to grow in height or will reach their adult height earlier.
12-01-2003 05:25 PM
Running with the Big Boys
well if you use that thinking most basketball players would be real runts.. because of the pounding.
as for gymnastics, short people do better, every tried to do a back flip? Imagine trying to do it if you are like 6'3" with the normal long legs that come with it..
12-01-2003 08:04 PM
I do recall hearing a study recently that surmised the increased fat/caloric intake in the average American diet was resulting in puberty starting at an earlier age.
The theory was that puberty in the human body, while also being age dependant, was triggered ealier by its ability to have ample fat/calorie intake to enter this phase. The report did note some statisitcs to support its findings, but I do not recall them.
I guess the correlation that could be drawn from this is that athletic children may consume more calories and possibly trigger an earlier onset of puberty. This, of course, would not have an affect on a persons final height, but might promote an earlier growth spurt.
12-01-2003 09:29 PM
i'm pretty sure that doing heavy workouts at 14-16 when hitting puberty that in males it can cause your frame to grow in size... why is this? i think its because there's enough hormones in your body (like hgh) that will cause your body to adapt much faster to an onset of muscle mass (which can create an imbalance)
its already been seen that the human body frame even at the adult stage say 19-21 years old can still adapt over the span of 5-10 years... take a look at DoggCrapp's before/after pictures to see what i'm talking about; it would make sense that it'd adapt much faster during puberty
i think this is part of the reason that teens who worked out when they were young and gained a "significant" about of muscle mass, end up being larger in frame than those who didnt... the same also applies to obese teens/children as well... they end up being ****ed for life... their frame grows in size and their body takes on the characteristics of storing fat easily...
my theory anyway
part of the reason i'll have my children be very fit
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