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3 Real Reasons Why Being Tall is Good (Backed by Science)

Tall people are subject to certain health benefits, social advantages and economic advantages that shorter people may not enjoy.

Some studies suggest that height is correlated with higher IQ, higher income and lower risk of diabetes, dementia and heart disease.

Besides the humorous advantages of being tall—like being able to reach groceries on the top shelves—there are certain pro’s of being a tall man or woman.

Let’s dive into the reasons why being tall is good.


Economic, Social and Health-related Advantages of Being Tall

For people who aren’t tall themselves, the advantages of being tall seem obvious. Who wouldn’t want an extra inch or two? But for tall people, it can be harder to see the forest for the trees—why being tall is all that great.

why tall is good

1. Tall People Are More Intelligent

There might be a correlation between height and IQ. A study from 2014, conducted by the University of Edinburgh examined 6,000 subjects and found a small correlation between higher IQ and height.

The correlation probably has more to do with the fact that taller people are generally people from a healthy upbringing (we’ll come back to that) and that’s the reason why they are well educated. And less to do with height actually resulting in a bright mind.

Either way, the numbers in the study suggest that if you are tall, you are more likely to have a higher IQ than a person who’s shorter than you. This might sound silly and hard to believe, and the researchers also attribute the findings to general statistical variants:

The bulk of this correlation can be explained by common additive genetic variants, and variants in linkage disequilibrium with them.

Marioni et al. (2014)

In conclusion, you shouldn’t rely too much on the fact that your height automatically makes you smarter. You still need to work hard to get smart, constantly strive to learn new skills and succeed on the same terms as your shorter peers.


2. Tall People Make More Money

Believe it or not; tall people make $789 more per inch annually than their peers. This is according to the writer of “The Tall Book”, Arianna Cohen, who have looked deeply into all the advantages and disadvantages of the tall.

What is the reason why tall people tend to earn more? Like with the example above relating to IQ, higher earnings are not the result of being tall—rather, being tall is the reason why you are more likely to get a position that pays well.

Cohen, the writer of “The Tall Book”, suggests that the reason why tall people earn more money is because they tend to exude leadership:

“Tall people tend to act like a leader from a very young age because other children relate to them like a slightly older peer (…) In the workplace, when you’re automatically acting as a leader, that’s really important when it comes time for promotion.”

Arianna cohen, “The tall book”

In this sense, tall people are more likely to get jobs as managers and leaders than their shorter peers—if observed statistically, over a long period of time and across geographies.

So, if you are tall, you can play it to your own advantage. Volunteer for leading roles in school, work and in private—to develop your leadership skills and make your height an advantage in your career.


3. Tall People Are Great Sportsmen

Although a little far-fetched to conclude that all tall are great at sports. However, long limbs are advantageous in sports like

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Rowing
  • Swimming

A tall frame gives mechanical advantages of extra reach and range of motion that can influence the success in sports.

Height can significantly influence the success of sport performance to a considerable extent.

Bhadra et al. (2016)

A social dimension of these advantages is the higher likelihood of being selected for teams, clubs and sports events up through adolescence. The increased exposure to sports is likely to have an impact on later results in that area.

Note how height itself isn’t the reason for our better health, higher earnings and sport achievements. Rather, it’s the societal view on height that makes being tall an advantage in so many areas.


How Can Being Tall Be Bad?

Above sections indicate that being tall is a good thing. I can agree to that. But there are also some aspects of being tall that aren’t necessarily that positive.

On a forum, researcher Thomas Samaras goes against popular belief and lists a number of historical and societal facts that suggest that an increase in height has it’s disadvantages:

  1. Nutrition experts suggest that the affluent diet, which is characterised by an increased amount of fat—especially common in wealthier nations (with taller and larger citizens)—promotes chronic disease.
  2. Some of the world’s greatest inventions was discovered by short people, like Einstein, Faulkner and Steinmetz. This suggests that some of the creative geniuses of our time were short (never taller than around 5’7″).
  3. Athletic performance is also questioned in terms of height advantages; a Finnish study compared military recruits with top athletes and found that the athletes were up to 2″ shorter than the recruits, in some categories.

So, have we just debunked this whole article and pulled away the blanket under all the good things about being tall? Not at all.

The conclusion that Samaras wishes to highlight is that positive attributes of tall people are less based on the physical height itself—and more based on the “social and economic advantages our society bestows upon them”.


Are There Real Advantages of Being Tall?

The internet is flooding with listicles highlighting the numerous, humorous advantages of being tall, like:

  • You can always see everything at concerts
  • It’s easier to reach things that are high up
  • It’s easier to dust off the top of the wardrobe
  • The air gets fresher the higher up you are
  • You always get to ride “shotgun”

As true as they might be, it’s hard to pinpoint concrete advantages on a higher level that are directly correlated with added height. It’s a matter of perspective, as you could flip each of the above advantages to:

  • You’re always in the way at concerts
  • People constantly ask you for help at the supermarket
  • You always have to clean the house
  • People ask you questions like “How’s the weather up there?”
  • You never get to chill in the backseat

In conclusion, the reason why it’s good to be a tall man or women is not directly related to the height itself—but dependent on the qualities we as society attribute to tall people.

And whether you think being tall is good or bad—you’re right! It’s all a matter of mindset around how you carry yourself and the body you’ve been given.

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