SEP 20, 2018 7:49 AM PDT

Is height all genetics?

For those of us who are more, ahem, vertically challenged, shall we say, it's likely that you've wondered what is responsible for your height (or lack thereof). Especially if you seem to be an outcast when your family takes a standing holiday card photograph and you somehow end up looking like you're sitting. Is it all in the genes, or is there more going on in the height game?

In fact, our environment determines a big part of how tall we are. If you go back in history, you will note that throughout big changes in time (like the introduction of agriculture, or during the disease-stricken Industrial Revolution), average human height has changed as well. (Watch the video for some awesome graphics on this point!) But money also had a strong influence on height; people from poorer backgrounds tend to be shorter than people who are more well-off, which makes sense because if money is a stressor and your household experiences food insecurity growing up, your growth can be stunted. Nevertheless, according to a 2007 study done on siblings across the world, 86% of height variation can be explained by genetics. Want to know why? Watch the video!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
APR 19, 2020
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
After spending several months onboard the International Space Station conducting science experiments and risky spacewalk ...
APR 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
How Sand Cats Survive in the Harsh Desert Environment
APR 20, 2020
How Sand Cats Survive in the Harsh Desert Environment
The sand cat is a type of feline that spends nearly all its life in the desert. While they may not look that much differ ...
MAY 03, 2020
Plants & Animals
Some Snakes Only Use Venomous Bites as a Last Resort
MAY 03, 2020
Some Snakes Only Use Venomous Bites as a Last Resort
Snakes have a bad rap with people because so many species are known to bite when disturbed. An even smaller subset of sn ...
MAY 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Your Night Light Could Be a Glowing Plant
MAY 07, 2020
Your Night Light Could Be a Glowing Plant
Glowing plants light themselves up House plants are not just decorations: thanks to science, they might become a part of ...
JUN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Reinforces Starlink Satellite Constellation with 60 New Units
JUN 07, 2020
SpaceX Reinforces Starlink Satellite Constellation with 60 New Units
It was only last weekend that SpaceX earned a round of applause from NASA after astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley s ...
JUN 15, 2020
Plants & Animals
Tasty Pigeon Just Barely Outflies a Hungry Falcon
JUN 15, 2020
Tasty Pigeon Just Barely Outflies a Hungry Falcon
It’s dog eat dog out there, especially in the animal kingdom. But this well-received idiom referring to the ruthle ...
Loading Comments...