Reaching the top shelf. Getting the best view at the concert. Dominating on the basketball court. We all know the many benefits being tall gives us in day to day life, but did you know about these 5 real health benefits to being tall?
The research seems to show that the taller a person is, the less likely they are to suffer from congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease (CHD). Simply adding 2 and half inches of height to a person lowers their risk of CHD by 13.5%. The correlation was at its strongest in men and seems to be related to levels of cholesterol. Before the lanky among us celebrate, keep in mind that many lifestyle factors outside of height can impact heart disease risk, including drinking alcohol and smoking.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. The disease leads to memory loss, personality changes, difficulties making decisions and struggles with language. Alzheimer’s is strongly correlated with advanced age, but it also seems to have a relationship to a person’s height. In a study observing the phenomenon, it was found that the taller a person was, the lower the likelihood of them dying with dementia. Again, the correlation was stronger in men. According to the researchers, circumstances in early life that can lead to short stature (such as malnutrition) may also contribute to the risks of Alzheimer’s in later life. In general, height was associated with better cognitive performance. So much for tall people having their ‘head in the clouds’!
For those with long legs, here’s some good news: You’re less likely to have Type 2 diabetes. The news gets even better for women. The same study showed that tall sitting heights in women were associated with a lower risk of the condition. Similar findings seem to apply to cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well. Specifically, liver fat tended to pose a bigger risk in short individuals. Of course, this doesn’t mean there are no tall diabetics, but it is a rarer occurrence.
You may be used to holding your head above everyone else in the room. According to a study from Scotland, that might be more than a visual metaphor! The researchers claimed a modest genetic correlation between height and intelligence. Like the Alzheimer’s study, this may be related to nutrition intake and general health in early life when the body and brain are developing. Another theory is that height correlates to the volume of white and gray brain matter, which is vital for cerebral development.
If you’re feeling good about being tall after reading this list, that’s no surprise! A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index study found higher life satisfaction among the tall and lower rates of stress and negative emotions. In men it would take a near 30% increase in income to offset the average life satisfaction from someone of below average height to someone of above average height.
All in all, there are many health benefits to being tall, from physical to mental. So, keep on standing tall and proud!
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