I had almost named this article “7 Problems faced by Short Men”, but decided to write something quite the contrary.
Seriously, enough with the negativity.
Sure, short height means a whole lot of problems to deal with.
There’s that lingering awkwardness you feel in public, your clothes don’t fit properly off the rack and not to mention you have other people’s opinions to deal with.
But it cant be all bad now can it?
Even if it may, I believe that when life gives you lemons, you make marmalade and tequila 🙂 (never really liked lemonade)
There sadly isn’t much you can do about your height if you’ve stopped growing.
However, Trust me when I say that its very important to learn to accept Yourself the way you are.
So, in an attempt to help you stay positive and feel (a tad bit) better, I have compiled 7 genuine and scientifically backed perks of being short.
And no they’re not about having more leg room, fitting in small places or being a harder target in a shooting spree. (Though seriously, they would make good points)
A) Health Benefits
There are many longevity studies that show shorter people are more likely to become centenarians.
Take for example this 2014 study by John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii.
The study included some 8000 American men and found a higher probability of finding the longevity gene FOXO3 in people with short height.
This gene which confers, well, longevity, also contributes to a shorter stature in people who have it.
In this study, guys who were 5’2″ were found to live the longest.
Also, a trend was observed all the way from being 5 foot tall to well over 6 feet.
As researcher Bradley Wilcox reported, “The taller you got, the shorter you lived”.
Dr. Armand Leroi and co-workers at the Imperial College, London discovered that one of the hormones that controls height (Insulin- Like Growth Factor, IGF) also controls the ageing process.
This means that shorter people are more protected from age related diseases, of course if they follow healthy lifestyles.
So, Short guys out there, go take up extreme sports. Its not like you’re dying anytime soon.
2. Even Cancer has a Height Preference
OK! I apologize.The title is really mean.
And of course this isn’t supposed to mean that all tall people will get cancer or that shorter people are immune to it.
But any number of epidemiological studies exist, showing a positive association between adult height and the incidence of various forms of cancers. To cite a few,
- This exhaustive 2017 study by the Departments of Respiration, Oncology and Urology (Chinese and US Hospitals and Med-School) showing higher incidences of lung cancer in taller people.
- According to the 2015 randomization study in 20,848 cases, by 106 researchers across the planet, genetically elevated height and BMI were associated with increased mortality in prostrate cancer.
- Study by Liang S, 2015 of the Gaoyou People’s Hospital, China showing positive correlation of high adult height with the risk of kidney cancer in both men and women.
- A 2014 pooled study by the Cancer Causes and Control Journal reported that height and the factors related to height (hormonal, genetic etc) stimulate both cancer development and progression in men and women.
- Scientists from Oxford University in a meta-analysis of over 25,150 women concluded that the taller women were, the greater was their risk of ovarian cancer.
- This huge cohort analysis of over 5,216,302 women (J Natl Cancer Inst., 2015) proved that “adult height is a risk factor for breast cancer in women.”
Trust me, there is a lot more research I could provide.
When you think about all this, doesn’t it provide a whole new perspective to life ? Bigger certainly doesn’t seem better.
3. You’ve got Steel hips And a back made of metal
Not literally though! Dont believe just about anything you read!
Well, jokes apart. There is evidence however that taller people are at a significantly increased risk of getting their hips fractured. Also, they are more likely to have higher impact on the bones when they fall due to increased body weight and its impact in the form of kinetic energy.
Research conducted by the Department of Orthopaedics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China indicates that “height is positively associated with risk of hip fracture.”
Another study by Hemmenway,1995 evaluated hip fracture rates of about 90,000 American women and found a 100% higher risk of braking a hip in women 173cm or taller as compared to those that were under 158cm.
And to add to that, shorter people are also at an advantage when considering the incidence of back problems or injury.
Voge and Tolan (1996) found that the only significant predictors of back pain and injury were a history of smoking and greater height.
So, cheer up fellow short mates.
You’re awesome and you know it. Cause, Hips dont lie.
B) Physical Advantages
There are a set of inherent physical advantages bestowed upon us shorties by the Laws of Allometric Scaling (just nod like you get it)
While the following may not have an observable impact on every short man, they can lead to outstanding athletic abilities if you know how to harness them to your benefit.
(Note also, that while the laws of physics are valid, there are still a lot of other factors affecting athletic performance.)
4. Faster Reflexes- No one swats mosquitoes like you do
Our brain sends electrical signals in response to stimuli to appropriate a response.
A short gait has been found to equate to shorter transit times for these signals from the brain. However, the difference in reaction times between a tall and a short person is only a few milliseconds( 30 ms to be precise)
Faster relexes can help you with anything where you need to react quickly be it a game of tennis, or dodging a bullet or better still, sprinting away from a group of hungry zombies. 🙂
Research ( Chu, 1989) points out that subjects with height 14% shorter have a 22% faster reaction time when compared to their taller counterparts. by virtue of their shorter bodies. Now that’s a substantial difference.
Time to put your reflexes to good use and slap those mosquitoes before they draw blood! Or you know you could be Clark Kent for a damsel in distress.
5. Lifting is a piece of cake
OK, so the basic argument for this one is that according to Physics (lets just skip the formula), a person 5’5″ in height would be about 10% stronger than a person who is 6′, (when compared on a kilogram for kilogram basis) owing to the fact that their muscles and bones are stronger in proportion to body weight.
In other words, shorter people have greater strength to weight ratio.
What this means is that shorter men would have it easier when it comes to lifting the body as in pushups, chin ups or sports such as rock climbing and reduce the chance of injuries from strength training.
Think Gymnasts with their smaller, more compact bodies and the excellent feats of physical prowess they perform. In Martial arts(while there are also big men of outstanding caliber) the shorter ones like Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan are much more agile and with abilities that are just exceptional.
Building serious strength is way easier for a shorter guy.
So, get lifting today.You have an (almost) unfair advantage.
C) The Things That Matter
6. Napoleon Complex Isn’t Really Bad
When you think about it, there’s nothing really wrong about being ambitious and driven. If lack of height can propel you into greatness, I don’t see it as a bad thing. You may want to compensate for your height by getting a big car or a big house or being extra capable and zealous.
And that’s all right.
You got to acknowledge that there are a hell lot of people who would go to great lengths to get these qualities and/or possessions.
Plus look at Napoleon himself. I mean apart from being sexy as hell, He did go about conquering half of the known world at his time, right? The world could use a few Napoleons here and there.
P.S. Just keep the aggression and World Domination to a bare minimum.
7. You’re protected from shallow people
Truth be told, there are pathetic, shallow women who reject potential partners solely due to height, for petty concerns like “how will we appear in public.”
Trust me, you’re well off safeguarded against them.
I’m sure even a tall person would find it very uncomfortable that his height matters more to his date rather than his personality or who he is.
On the other hand, there are also (loads of) women who can overlook height and ask more fundamental questions like Is he a good man? Can he love or make me feel special ? or make me laugh? or take care of me.
If someone can love you for your strengths and your weaknesses, you don’t need me telling you to ask them out and date the shit out of them.
So, Here’s the bottom line…
Its not your mistake that you are short.
But, when you believe you’re “not tall “, its seems as if you’re lacking something and this makes you feel inadequate.
Let the tall ones enjoy their presidential nominations, their amusement park rides and the best views in a crowd.
We short dudes will be busy getting our clothes tailored, getting immortal and dominating the world.